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Aphorisms of the Professor to serve as Prolegomena to 

his work, and Eternal basis of the Science, - 25 

Dialogue, between the Author and his Friend, - 28 
Biography, ---------85" 

Preface, -.-.--.-. 39 


The Senses, - - * 46 

Number of the Senses, ------ 46 

Action of the Senses, ------ 47 

Perfectness of the Senses, ----- 49 

Powers of the Taste, ------- 53 

Object of the Action of the Senses, - - . 53 


Taste, 56 

Definition of Taste, 56 

Mechanism of Taste, ------ 58 

Sensation of Taste, ------ 60 

Flavors, 61 

Influence of Smelling on the Taste, ... 62 

Analyses of tho Sensation of Taste, 64 

Order of the Impressions of Taste, ... 66 

Enjoyments due to the Taste, 6T 




Supremacy of Man, ----.- Qg 

Method of the Author, ------ 71 


Gastronomy, ---.----. 74 

Origin of Sciences, - 74 

Origin of Gastronomy, ------ 75 

Definition of Gastronomy, ----- 76 

Different objects of Gastronomy, - - - - 78 

Utility of Gastronomical Knowledge, *■ - - 79 

Influence of Gastronomy on Business, - - - 80 

Gastronomical Academy, ------ 81 


Appetite, -------- 83 

Definition of Appotite, ------ 83 

Anecdote, -------- 84 

Great Appetites, - •- - - - - - 87 


Food in Germs — Section First, ----- 91 

Definitions, --------91 

Analyses, -------- 91 

Osmazome, --------92 

Principle of Aliments, ------ 94 

Vegetable Kingdom, ...... 95 

Difference between Fat and Lean, ... 98 

Individual Instance, ---... 98 


Food in Germs — Section Second, .... 101 

Specialities, -------- 101 

I. Pot-au-feu, Potage, etc., 102 



Food in Germs — Section Second, 

II. Bouilli, 103 

III. Fowls, - - 104 

IV. The Turkey, - - - - - - - 105 

Dindoniphiles, ------- 107 

Financial Influence of the Turkey, ' - - - 107 

Exploit of the Professor, ----- 108 

V. Game, 115 

VI. Fish, 118 

Anecdote, 120 

Muria — Garum, --.-.- 121 

Philosophical Reflection, 124 

VII. Truffles, 124 

Erratic Virtue of Truffles, 125 

Are Truffles Indigestible, 128 

VIII. Sugar, - - 131 

Indigenous Sugar, ------ 132 

Uses of Sugur, 134 

IX. Origin of Coffee, 136 

Different Modes of preparing Coffee, ... 138 

Effects of Coffee, ' - 139 

X. Chocolate — its origin, ----- 142 
Properties of Chocolate, ----- 145 
True Method of preparing Chocolate, - 149 


Theory or Frying, ------ 151 

Allocution, --£ 152 

I. Chemistry, ------- 153 

II. Application, 154 


On Thirst, - ... 157 

Varieties of Thirst, 157 

v ;;i CONTENTS. 


On Thirst, 

Causes of Thirst, - 160 

Example, - - 161 


On Drinks, 165 

Water, 165 

Quick effect of Drinks, ..... 165 

Strong Drinks, 167 


An Episode on the End of the World, - - 169 


On Gourmandise, - - - - - - - 172 

Definitions, 172 

Advantages of Gourmandise, ----- 173 

Sequel, 174 

Power of Gourmandise, - - - - - 175 

A Lady Gourmand, ------ 177 

Anecdote, - - -. - . . . 178 

Are Women Gourmands? ----- 178 

The effects of Gourmandise of Sociability, - - 179 

Influence of Gourmandise on Conjugal Happiness, 179 

Note of a Patriot Gastronomer, - 181 


Gourmands, 182 

All who wish to be are not Gourmands, - 182 

Napoleon, -------- 182 

Gourmands by Destiny, ------ 183 

Gourmands by Profession, - - - - - - 187 

Financiers, ----- - - 187 



Physicians, -------- 188 

Objurgation, -------- 189 

Men of Letters, 191 

Devotees, 192 

Chevaliers and Abbes, ----- 193 

Longevity of Gourmands, - 194 


Gastronomical Tests, ------ 197 

First Series — Income of 5,000 francs, - - - 199 

Second Series — Income of 15,000 francs, - - 199 

Third Series— Income of 30,000 francs, or more, - 200 


On the Pleasures of the Table, ... - 201 
Origin of the Pleasures of the Table, - 202 
Difference between the Pleasures of Eating and the Plea- 
sures of the Table, 202 

Effects, - 203 

Accessories, - 204 

The 18th and 19th Century, 205 

Summary, -------- 207 


Haltes be Chasse, ------- 214 

Ladies, -- 215 


On Digestion, 218 

Ingestion, 218 

Duty of the Stomach, 220 

Influence of Digestion, - 223 




Repose, - -.- - -- - - -227 

Time of Rest, 230 


Sleep, 231 

Definition, - 231 


Dreams, --------- 234 

Nature of Dreams, - - - - - - 236 

System of Dr. Gall, - 237 

First Observation, ------ 237 

Second Observation, ------ 238 

Result, ..-■----- 240 

Age, 240 

Phenomena of Dreams, ------ 240 

First Observation, ------- 241 

Second Observation, ----- 241 

Third Observation, - 242 

Do as you will be done by, - 244 


Influence of Diet on Rest, Sleep and Dreams, - 246 

Effects of Diet on Labor, 246 

Dreams, 248 

Consequence, ------- 248 

Result, 249 


Obesity, ..-- 251 

Causes of Obesity, - - - - - - - 255 

Sequel, - 256 




Sequel, 257 

Anecdote, -------- 258 

Inconvenience of Obesity, ----- 259 

Examples of Obesity, 260 


Preservative Treatment and Cube of Obesity, - 263 

Generalities, - - - 264 

Sequel of the Regimen, ----- 268 

Dangers of Acids, ------- 268 

Antiobesic Belt, 270 

Quinquina, -------- 271 


Thinness, -------- 273 

Definition, 273 

Varieties, -------- 273 

EffectB of Thinness, 273 

Natural Predestination, - - . - - 274 

Fattening Regimen, ------ 275 


Fasting, - - 279 

Definition, 279 

Origin, -- 279 

How people used to Fast, ----- 280 

Origin of the removal of Restriction in Fasting, - 282 


Exhaustion, -,---.-- 284 

Treatment, - 284 

Cure by the Professor, 285 




Death, - 288 


Philosophical History op the Kitchen, - 292 

Order of Alimentation, ----- 293 

Discovery of Fire, 294 

Baking, 295 

Oriental Entertainments — Grecian, - 298 

Roman Festivals, 299 

Resurrection of Lucullus, ----- 301 

Poetry, 303 

Irruption of the Barbarians, ----- 304 


Restaurateurs, ------- 306 

Establishment, 306 

Physiology op Taste — Part Second, - 309 

Transition, -------- 309 

Varieties, -------- 311 

I. L'omelette du Cure, ------ 311 

Omelette au Thon, 313 

Observations, - - - - - - -314 

II. A National Victory, 314 

III. Mystification of the Professor and Defeat of a 
General, 318 

IV. The Snare, 321 

V. The Turbot, 322 

VI. Pheasants, 324 

VII. Gastronomical Industry of the Emigres, - - 326 

VIII. Recollections of the Emigration, - - 329 

The Weaver, 329 

The Starving, 331 




Sojourn in America, ------ 332 

Asparagus, ------- 332 

Fondue, 333 

Recipe for Fondue, Copied from the Papers of M. 

Trollet, Bailli of Mondon in Berne, - - 334 

Disappointment, ------- 334 

Wonderful Effects of a Classical Dinner, - - 335 

Effects and Danger of Strong Drinks, - - - 336 

Chevaliers and Abbes, 337 

Miscellany— Wine, 339 

Strawberries, ------- 339 

Judgment, -------- 339 

Raisins, 339 

A Day with the Bernardines, - - - - 339 

Prosperity en route, ----- 343 

H.... De P..., 346 

Conclusion, ------- 347 



The excellent man to whom we are in- 
debted for this book has described himself, 
with so much charm, nature and truth; the 
principal events of his life have been recorded 
in such an agreeable and faithful manner 
that very few words will suffice to finish the 

Brillat Savarin (Anthelme) Counsel of the 
Court of Cassation, member of the Legion 
of Honor, member of the Society for the 
Encouragement of National Industry, of the 
Antiquarian Society of France, of the Philo- 
selic Society of Bourg, &c, &c, was born, 1st 
of April, 1755, at Belley, a little Alpine city, 
not far from the banks of the Rhine, which 
at this place separates France from Savoy. 
Like his forefathers, who had been for seve- 
ral generations devoted to the bar, the pro- 
fession which pleased him, in consequence 
of his possession of great eloquence, he prac- 
tised with great success. 



In, 1789, the unanimous vote of his fel- 
low-citizens deputed him to the Constituent 
assembly, composed of all that was most 
brilliant in the youth of France at that day. 
Less attached in practice to the philosophy 
of Zeno than that of Epicurus, his name 
does not figure very conspicuously, but always 
appears at epochs, which show that he acted 
with the good and moderate. 

His legislative functions being determined 
by the expiration of the Constituent Assem- 
bly, he was first appointed President of the 
Superior Civil court of the Department of Ain, 
and subsequently a Justice of the Court of 
Cassation, newly instituted ; a man of talent, 
perfectly incorruptible and unhesitating in 
the discharge of his duty, he would have 
been precisely calculated for the place to 
which he had been appointed, had the 
warmth of political discussion made practi- 
cable the advice either of moderation or of 
prudence. In 1793, he was Mayor of Bel- 
ley, and passed in anxiety there, the season 
of the reign of Terror ; whence he was forced 
to fly to Switzerland for an asylum against the 
revolutionary movement. Nothing can better 


describe the evil of those days than that a 
man, without a personal enemy, should be 
forced to pass in a foreign land the days he 
purposed to devote to the improvement of 
his country. 

This is the point when the character of 
Brillat Savarin assumes its grandest propor- 
tions; proscribed, a fugitive, and often with- 
out pecuniary resources, frequently unable 
to provide for his personal safety, he was 
always able to console his companions in 
exile and set them an example of honest 
industry. As time rolled on, and his situation 
became more painful, he sought to find in 
the new world a repose which Europe de- 
nied him; he came from Europe, and in 
Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Hart- 
ford passed two years teaching the French 
language, and for a time playing the first 
violin in the orchestra of the Park Theatre. 
Like many other emigres, Brillat Savarin ever 
sought to make the pleasant and the useful 
coincide. He always preserved very plea- 
sant recollection of this period of his life, 
in which he enjoyed, with moderate labor, 
all that is necessary for happiness, liberty 


sweetened by honest toil. He might say 
all is well, and to be able to enjoy the 
breath of my native land would alone in- 
crease my happiness ; he fancied that he 
saw brighter days with the commencement 
of Vend^miaire year 5, corresponding to 
September, of 1796. Appointed by the 
Directory, as Secretary of the General in 
Chief of the Republican armies in Germany, 
then Commisary of the government in the 
department of the Seine and Oise, (this 
appointment he held at the epoch of the 
18th Brumaire, in which France fancied she 
exchanged liberty for repose,) sustained by 
the Senate and the Court, Brillat Savarin 
passed the remaining twenty-five years of 
his life respected by his inferiors, loved by 
his equals, and honored by all. A man of 
mind, a pleasant guest, with a deep fund 
of humor, he delighted every body. His 
judicial labors did not at all interfere with 
the composition of this book, which he 
esteemed the great one of his life. 

To the very facility of its composition, 
the " Physiology of the Taste," owes its suc- 
cess; one would form a very erroneous 


opinion of it, were he to estimate it at 
all as we do Montaigue's writings on the 
Gueule. Savarin was naturally a thoughtful 
man, .the simplest meal satisfied him, all he 
required was that it should be prepared 
artistically; and he maintained that the art 
of cookery consisted in exciting the taste. 
He used to say, " to excite a stomach of 
Papier Mache, and enliven vital powers 
almost ready to depart, a cook needs more 
talent than he who has solved the infini- 
tesimal calculus. 

The world was much surprised by finding 
in a book by Brillat Savarin, a man it had 
always looked upon as simply a very plea- 
sant person, such a vast collection of general 
information ; after his laborious profession 
he had always seemed to expend the rest 
of his time with the muses and graces, and 
none could divine where he obtained so 
much information, as almost to recall the 
story of some gray-haired sage of Greece. 
He had however already composed more than 
one work unrecognised, if we except the two 
opuscula "Critical and Historical Essay on 
Duel, with Relation to our Legislation and 


Morals," and a work on judicial practice. 
They were successful, but he was just then 
attacked by a violent cold, contracted by 
being present at the annual ceremony,* the 
21st of January at the Church of St. Dennis. 
In spite of every care and attention, on the 
2d of February, 1826, he died. For many 
years gifted with robust health and athletic 
constitution, made the more remarkable by 
his tall stature, Brillat Savarin had a pre- 
sentiment of the approach of death; this 
feeling, however, did not influence the tenor 
of his life, for his habitual gaity was main- 
tained unimpaired. When the fatal point 
was reached, he died tanquam convivia satur, 
not without regret, certainly, for he left 
many kind friends to whom his memory 
could not but be dear. 

* Not only Brillat Savarin, but Robert De St. Vincent, 
and Attorney General March angy, contracted their death in 
consequence of the same ceremonial. 



I. The universe would be nothing were it not for 
life, and all that lives must be fed. 

II. Animals fill themselves ; man eats. %he man 
of mind alone knows how to eat, 

III. The destiny of nations depends on the manner 
in which they are fed. 

IV. Tell me what kind of food you eat, and I will 
tell you what kind of man you are. 

V. The Creator, when he obliges man to eat, 
invites him to do so by appetite, and rewards him 
by pleasure. 

VI. Gfourmandise is an act of our judgment, in 
obedience to which, we grant a preference to things 
which are agreeable, over those which have not that 

VII. The pleasure of the table belongs to all ages, 
to all conditions, to all countries, and to all seras ; it 
mingles with all other pleasures, £}nd remains at last 
to console us for their departure. 

3 ( 25 ) 


VIII. The table is the only place where one does 
not suffer from ennui, during the first hour. 

IX. The discovery of a new dish confers more 
happiness on humanity, than the discovery of a new 

X. Those persons who suffer from indigestion, or 
who become drunk, are utterly ignorant of the true 
principles of eating and drinking. 

XI. The order of food is from the most substantial 
to the lightest. 

XII. The order of drinking is from the mildest to 
the most foamy and perfumed. 

XIII. To say that we should not change our drinks 
is a heresy ; the tongue becomes saturated, and after 
the third glass yields but an obtuse sensation. 

XIV. A dessert without cheese is like a beautiful 
woman who has lost an eye. 

XY. A cook may be taught, but a man who can 
roast, is born with the faculty. 

XVI. The most indispensable quality of a good 
cook is promptness. It should also be that of the 

XVII. To wait too long for a dilatory guest, shows 
disrespect to those who are punctual. 

XVIII. He who receives friends and pays no 
attention to the repast prepared for them, is not fit 
to have friends. 


XIX. The mistress of the house should always be 
certain that the coffee be excellent ; the master that 
his liquors be of the first quality. 

XX. To invite a person to your house is to take 
charge of his happiness as long as he be beneath your 




Friend. As my wife and myself were at breakfast 
this morning, we came to the conclusion that you 
should print, as soon as possible, your Gastronomical 

Author. What the wife wishes God wills. In six 
words that is the charta of Paris. I, though, am not 
subject to that law, for I am an unmarried man. 

Friend. Bachelors, though, are as subject to the 
law as others are, sometimes much to our injury. 
Single blessedness here, however, will not save you. 
My wife says she has a right to order, because you 
began your book at her country-house. 

Author. You know, dear Doctor, how I defer to 
the ladies ; more than once you have found my sub- 
mission to their orders. You also were one of those 
who said I would make an excellent husband. I will 
not, however, print my book. 



Friend. Why not ? 

Author. Because being devoted, from the nature 
of my profession, to serious studies, I fear that those 
w ho only know the title of my book will think that 
I devote myself to trifles. 

Friend. A panic terror! Thirty-six years of 
constant toil and labor for the public, have made you 
a reputation. Besides, my wife and I think every 
body would read you. 

Author, Indeed ! 

Friend. The learned will read your book to 
ascertain what you have to tell. 

Author. Perhaps. 

Friend. Women will read your book because 
they will see 

Author. My dear friend, I am old, I am attacked 
by a fit of wisdom. Miserere met. 

FfiEND. Gourmands will re Ad you because you 
do them justice, and assign them their suitable rank 
in society. 

Author. Well, that is true. It is strange that 
they have so long been misunderstood ; I look on the 
dear Gourmands with paternal affection. They are 
so kind and their eyes are so bright. 

Friend. Besides, did you not tell me such a book 
was needed in every library. 

Author. I did. It is the truth — and I would die 
sooner than deny it. 


Friend. Ah ! you are convinced ! You will come 
home with me ? 

Author. Not so. If there be flowers in the 
author's path, there are also thorns. The latter I 
leave to my heirs. 

Friend. But then you disinherit your friends, 
acquaintances and co temporaries. Dare you do so ? 

Author. My heirs ! my heirs ! I have heard 
that shades of the departed are always flattered by 
the praise of the living ; this is a state of beatitude 
I wish to reserve myself for th« other world. 

Friend. But are you sure that the praise you 
love so, will come to the right address ? Are you 
sure of the exactness of your heirs ? 

Author. I have no reason to think they will 
neglect a duty, in consideration of which I have 
excused them the neglect of so many others. 

Friend. Will they— can they have for your book 
the paternal love, the author's attention without 
which every work always comes awkwardly bef6re 
the public ? 

Author. My manuscript will be corrected, writ- 
ten out distinctly, and in all respects prepared ; they 
will only have to print it." 

Friend. And the chapter of events ? Alas ! such 
circumstances have caused the loss of many precious 
books,— r-among which was that of the famous Lecat, 
on the state of the body during sleep, the work of his 
whole life. 


Author. This doubtless was a great loss ; but I 
anticipate no such regrets for my book. 

Friend. Believe me, jour friends will have enough 
to do to arrange matters with the church, with the 
law, and with the medical faculty, so that if they had 
the will, they would not have the time to devote them- 
selves to the various cares which precede, accompany, 
and follow the publication of a book, — however small 
the volume may be. 

Author. But, my friend, what a title ! Think 
of the ridicule ! 

Friend. The word Gastronomy makes every ear 
attentive ; the subject is a la mode, and those who 
laugh are as great votaries of the science as any 
others are. This should satisfy you. Do you 
remember too, that the greatest men have sometimes 
written books on very trivial subjects, — Montesquieu, 
for example.* 

Author. (Quickly.) On my word, that is true. 
He wrote the Temple of Gnidus, and it would not be 
difficult to sustain that there is more real utility in 
meditating on what is at once a necessity, a pleasure, 

* M. de Montucla, known as the author of an excellent 
history of mathematics, made a Dictionary of Gourmand 
Geography ; he showed me portions of it during my residence 
at Versailles. It is said that M. Berryat — Professor of legal 
practice, has written a romance in several volumes on the 


and an occupation every day of our lives, than in 
telling what was done and said a thousand years ago 
by two mad people, one of whom pursued through the 
woods of Greece the other, who had not the least dis- 
position to escape. 

Friend. Ah ! ha ! Now you yield ? 

Author. Not I. The ass's ear of the author 
only was shown ; and this recalls to my memory a 
scene of English comedy, which amused me very 
much ; it is, I think, in the play called the Natural 
Daughter. You shall see, however, for yourself.* 

The subject relates to the Quakers, that sect which 
uses " thee " and u thou " to every body, which dresses 
simply, never go to war, never swear or act with pas- 
sion, and who never get angry. 

The hero of this piece is a young and handsome 
Quaker, who appears on the scene in a brown coat, a 
broad-brimmed hat, and slick hair ! All this, though, 
does not keep him from being in love. 

A fool who is his rival, emboldened by his exterior, 
ridicules and outrages him so that the young man 
gradually becoming excited, and finally made furious, 
gives his assailant a severe thrashing. 

* The reader will observe that my friend permits me to be 
familiar with him, without taking advantage of it. The rea- 
son is, that the difference between our ages is that of a father 
and a son, and that, though now a man of great note and 
importance in every respect, he would be completely over, 
come with grief if I changed my bearing towards him. 


Having done this he at once resumes his habitual 
deportment and says, sadly, "Alas ! the flesh is too 
mighty for the spirit." 

Thus say I, and after a brief hesitation resume 
my first opinion. 

Friend. That is impossible. You have shown 
your ear ; you are a prize, and I will take you to my 
bookseller. I will tell you who has gotten wind of 
your secret. 

Author. Do not ; for I would speak of yourself, 
and who knows what I would say ? 

Friend. What could you say? Do not think you 
can intimidate me. % 

Author. I will not say that our native city* is 
proud of having given you birth. At the age of 
twenty-four you published an elementary book, which 
from that day has become a classic. A deserved repu- 
tation has attracted confidence to you. Your skill 
revives invalids ; your dexterity animates them ; your 
sensibility consoles them. All know this ; but I will 
reveal to all Paris, to all France, the sole fault of 
which I know you guilty. 

Friend. (Seriously.) What do you mean ? 

Author. An habitual fault which no persuasion 
can correct. 

♦Belley, capital of Bugey, where high mountains, hills, 
vines, limped streams, cascades, dells, gardens of a hundred 
square leagues are found, and where, before the revolution, 
the people were able to control the other two orders. 


Friend. Tell me what you mean ! Why tor- 
ment me ? 
Authoe. You eat too quickly. 

(Here the friend takes up his hat and leaves, 
fancying that he has made a convert.) 


Ths Doctor I have introduced into the dialogue we have 
just read, is not a creature of imagination like the Chloris of 
other days, but a real living Doctor. Those who know me, will 
remember Richerand. 

When I thought of him I could not but have reference to 
those who preceded him, and I saw with pride- that from 
Belley, from the department of Ain, my native soil, for a long 
time physicians of the greatest distinction had come. I could 
not resist the temptation to erect a brief monument to them. 

During the regency Doctors Genin and Givoct were in full 
possession of practice, and expended in their country a wealth 
they had honorably acquired. The first was altogether Hip- 
pocratite; he proceeded secundum artem; the second was 
almost monopolized by women, and had as his device, as 
Tacitus would have said, re8 f novas molientem. 

About 1780 Ohapelle became distinguished in the dangerous 
career of a military surgeon. About 1781 Doctor Dubois had 
great success in sundry maladies, then very much a la mode, 
and in nervous diseases. The success he obtained was really 
wonderful. ' 

Unfortunately he inherited a fortune and became idle, and 
was satisfied to be a good story-teller. He was very amusing, 
and contrived to survive the dinners of the new and old 

* I smiled when I wrote the above, for it recalled to me an Academi- 
cian, the eulogium of whom Fontenelle undertook. The deceased 
knew only how to play at all games. Fontenelle made a very decent 
oration, however, about him. 


About the end of the reign of Louie XV., Dr. Coste, a native 
of Chatillon came to Paris ; he had a letter from Voltaire to 
the Due de Choiseuil, the good wishes of whom he gained as 
Boon as he had seen him. 

Protected by this nobleman, and by the Duchess of Gram- 
mont, his sister, young Coste advanced rapidly, and in a short 
time became one of the first physicians of Paris. 
, The patronage he had received took him from a profitable 
career to place him at the head of the medical department of 
the army which France sent to the United States, who then 
were contending for their independence. 

Having fulfilled his mission, Coste returned to France, and 
almost unseen lived through the evil days of 1793. He was 
elected maire of Versailles, and even now the memory of his 
administration^ at once mild, gentle and paternal, has been 

The Directors now recalled him to the charge of the medical 
department of the army. Bonaparte appointed him one of 
the throe Inspectors General of the service ; the Doctor was 
always the friend, protector, and patron of the young men who 
selected that service. He was at last appointed Physician of 
the Invalides, and discharged the duties until he died. 

Such service the Bourbons could not neglect, and Louis 
XVIII. granted to Doctor Coste the cordon of Saint Michel. 

Doctor Coste died a few years since, leaving behind kind 
recollections, and a daughter married to M. Lalot, who dis- 
tinguished himself in the Chamber of Deputies by his eloquent 
and profound arguments. 

One day when we had dined with M. Favre, the Cure of 
St. Laurent, Doctor Coste told me of a difficulty he had, the 
day before, with the Count de Le Cessac, then a high officer of 
the ministry of war, about a certain economy which the 
latter proposed as a means of paying his court to Napo- 


The economy consisted in retrenching the allowances of 
hospital, so as to restrict men who had wounds from the com- 
forts they were entitled to. 

Doctor Coste said such measures were abominable, and he 
became angry. 

I do not know what the result was, but only that the sick 
soldiers had their usual allowances, and that no change was 

He was appointed Professor of the Faculty of Medicine. 
His style was simple and his addresses were plain and fruitful. 
Honors were crowded on him. He was appointed Physician 
to the Empress Marie Louise. He did not, however, fill that 
place long, the Emperor was swept away, and the Doctor him- 
self succumbed to a disease of the leg, to which he had long 
been subject 

Bordier was of a calm disposition, kind and reliable 

About the 18th century appeared Bichat, all of the writings 
of whom bear the impress of "genius. He expended his life in 
toil to advance science, and joined the patience of restricted 
minds to enthusiasm. He died at the age of thirty, and pub- 
lic honors were decreed to his memory. 

At a later day came Doctor Montegre, who carried philoso- 
phy into clinics. He was the editor of the Gazette de Sante, 
and at the age of forty died in the Antilles, whither he had 
gone to complete his book on the Vomite Negro. 

At the present moment Richerand stands on the highest 
degree of operative -medicine, and his Elements of Physiology 
have been translated into every language. Appointed at an 
early date a Professor of the Faculty of Paris, he made all 
rely fully on him. He is the keenest, gentlest, and quickest 
operator in the world. 

Recamier, a professor of the same faculty, sits by his side. 

The present being thus assured, the future expands itself 
before us ! Under the wings of these mighty Professors arise 


young men of the same land, who seek to follow their honora- 
ble examples. 

Janin and Manjot already crush the pavement of Paris, 
Manjot devotes himself to the diseases of children; hi has 
happy inspirations, and soon will tell the public what he has 

I trust my readers will pardon this digression of an old 
man, who, during an absence of thirty years, has neither for- 
gotten his country nor his countrymen. I could not however 
omit all those physicians, the memory of whom is yet pre- 
served in their birth-place, and who, though not conspicuous, 
had not on that account the less merit or worth.* 

* The translator thinks several have made world-renowned names* 


In offering to the public the work I now produce, I 
have undertaken no great labor. I have only put in 
order materials I had collected long ago. The occu- 
pation was an amusing one, which I reserved for my 
old age. 

When I thought of the pleasures of the table, under 
every point of view, I saw that something better than 
a common cookery book could be made out of it, and 
that much might be said about essential and continu- 
ous things, which have a direct influence on health, 
happiness, and even on business. 

When I had once gotten hold of the idea, all the 
rest came naturally. I looked around, took notes, 
and amidst the most sumptuous festivals looked at the 
guests. Thus I escaped many of the dangers of con- 

To do what I have undertaken, one need not be a 
physician, chemist, physiologist, or even a savant. All 
I learned, I learned without the least idea that I 
would ever be an author. I was impressed by a 
laudable curiosity, by the fear of remaining behind 

( 39 ) 


my century, and by an anxiety to be able to sit at 
table on equal terms with the savants I used to meet. 

I am essentially an amateur medecin, and this to 
me is almost a mania. Among the happiest days of 
my life, when with the Professors, I went to hear the 
thesis of Doctor Cloquet ; I was delighted when I 
heard the murmur of the students' voices, each of 
whom asked who was the foreign professor who 
honored the College with his presence. 

One other day is, I think, almost as dear to me. I 
refer to the meeting of the society for the encourage- 
ment of national industry, when I presented the 
irrorator, an instrument of my own invention, which 
is neither more nor less than a forcing- pump filled 
with perfumes. 

I had an apparatus fully charged in my pocket. I 
turned the cock, and thence pressed out a perfume 
which filled the whole room. 

Then I saw, with inexpressible pleasure, the wisest 
heads of the capital bend beneath my irrigation, and 
I was glad to see that those who received most, were 
the happiest. 

Thinking sometimes of the grave lucubrations to 
which I was attracted by my subject, I really was 
afraid that I would be troublesome. I have often 
read very stupid books, 

I did all that I could to escape this reproach. I 
have merely Hovered over subjects which presented 
themselves to me ; I have filled my book with anco 


dotes, some of which to a degree arc personal. I 
have omitted to mention many strange and singular 
things, which critical judgment induced me to reject, 
and I recalled popular attention to certain things 
which savants seemed to have reserved to themselves. 
If, in spite of all these efforts, L have not presented to 
my readers a science rarely understood, I shall sleep 
just as calmly, being certain that the majority will 
acquit me of all evil intention. 

It may perhaps be said that sometimes I wrote too 
rapidly, and that sometimes I became garrulous. Is it 
my fault that I am old ? Is it my fault that, like 
Ulysses, I have seen the manners and customs of 
many cities ? Am I therefore blamable for writing a 
little bit of autobiography ? Let the reader, how- 
ever, remember that I da not inflict my political 
memoirs on him, which he would have to read, as he 
has many others, since during th% last thirty years I 
have been exactly in the position to see great men 
and great things. 

Let no one assign me a place among compilers ; 
had I been reduced thus low, I would have laid down 
my pen, and would not have lived less happily. 

I said, like Juvenal : 

" Semper ego auditor tantum ! nunquamne reponam I" 

and those who know me will easily see that used to 
the tumult of society and to the silence of the study, I 


had to take advantage of both one and the other of 
these positions. 

I did too many things which pleased me particu- 
larly ; I was able to mention many friends who did 
not expect me to do so, and recalled some pleasant 
memories; I seized on others which would have 
escaped, and, as we say familiarly, took my coffee. 

It may be a single reader may in some category 

exclaim, "I wished to know if •." 

* What was he thinking of," etc., etc. I am sure, 
though, the others will make him be silent and receive 
with kindness the effusions of a praiseworthy senti- 

I have something to say about my style, which, as 
Buffon says, is all the man. 

Let none think I come to ask for a favor which is 
never granted to those who need it. I wish merely to 
make an explanation. 

I should write well, for Voltaire, Jean Jacques, 
Fenelon, Buffon, and Cochin and Aguesseau were my 
favorite authors. I knew them by heart. 

It may be though, that the gods ordered otherwise ; 
if so, this is the cause of the will of the gods. 

I know five languages which now are spoken, which 
gives me an immense refectory of words. 

When I need a word and do not find it in 
French, I select it from other tongues, and the 
reader has either to understand or translate me. 
Such is my fate. 


I could have acted otherwise, but was prevented 
by a kind of system to which I was invincibly 

I am satisfied that the French language which I use 
is comparatively poor. What could I do? Either 
borrow or steal. 

I did neither, for such borrowings, cannot be 
restored, though to steal words is not punishable by 
the penal code. 

Any one may form an idea of toy audacity when I 
say I applied the Spanish word volante to any one I 
had sent on an errand, and that I had determined to 
gallicise the English word to sip, which means to 
drink in small quantities. I however dug out the 
French word siroter, which expresses nearly the same 

I am aware the purists will appeal to Bosseux, to 
Fenelon, Raceri, Boilleau, Pascal, and others of the 
reign of Louis XIV. I fancy I hear their clamor. 

To all this I reply distinctly, that I do not depre- 
ciate the merit of those authors ; but what follows ? 
Nothing, except that if they played well on an infe- 
rior instrument, how much better would they have 
done on a superior one. Therefore, we may believe 
that Tartini would have played on the violin far bet- 
ter than he did, if his bow had been long as that of 

I do not belong to the neohgues or even to the 
romanticists ; the last are discoverers of hidden trea- 


sures, the former are like . sailors who go about to 
search for provisions they need. 

The people of the North, and especially the Eng- 
lish, have in this respect an immense advantage over 
us. Genius is never restricted by the want of expres- 
sion, which is either made or created. Thus it is that 
of all subjects which demand depth and energy, our 
translations make but pale and dull infusions. 

Once I heard at the institute a pleasant discourse 
on the danger of neologism, and on the necessity of 
maintaining our language as it was when the authors 
of the great century wrote. 

" Like a chemist, I sifted the argument and ascer- 
tained that it meant : 

"We have done so well, that we neither need nor 
can do better." 

Now ; I have lived long enough to know that each 
generation has done as much, and that each one 
laughs at his grandfather. 

Besides, words must change, when manners and 
ideas undergo perpetual modifications. If we do 
things as the ancients did, we do not do them in the 
same manner. There are whole pages in many 
French books, which cannot be translated into Latin 
or Greek. 

All languages had their birth, their apogee and 
decline. None of those which havel)een famous from 
the days of Sesostris to that of Philip Augustus, exist 
except as monuments. The French will have the 


same fate, and in the year 2825 if read, will be read 
with a dictionary. 

I once had a terrible argument on this matter with 
the famous M. Andrieux, at the Academie Frangaise. 

I made my assault in good array, I attacked him 
vigorously, and would have beaten him had he not 
made a prompt retreat, to which I opposed no obstacle, 
fortunately for him, as he was making one letter - of 
the new lexicon. 

I end by one important observatiqp, for that reason 
I have kept it till the last. 

When r write of me in the singular, I gossip with 
my reader, he may examine, discuss, doubt or laugh ; 
but when I say we I am a professor, and all must 
bow to me. 

" I am, Sir Oracle, 
And when I ope my lips, let no dog bark." 

Merchant of Venice. 



The senses are the organs by which man places 
himself in connexion with exterior objects. 


1. They are at least six — 

Sight, which embraces space, and tells us by means 
of light, of the existence and of the colors of the 
bodies around us. 

Hearing, which, by the motion of the air, informs 
us of the motion of sounding or vibrating bodies. 

Scent, by means of which we are made aware of 
the odors bodies possess. 

Taste, which enables us to distinguish all that has 
a flavor from that which is insipid. 

Touch informs us of the consistency and resistance 
of bodies. 

The last is genesiac or physical love, which attracts 
the sexes to each other, and the object of which is 
the reproduction, of the species. 


SENSES. * 47 

It is astonishing that, almost to the days of Buffon, 
so important a sense was misunderstood, and was con- 
founded with the touch. 

Yet the sensation of which it is the seat, has nothing 
in common with touch ; it resides in an apparatus as 
complete as the mouth or the eyes, and what is singu- 
lar is that each 'sex has all that is needed to 
experience the sensation ; it is necessary that the two 
should be united to reach nature's object. If the taste, 
the object of which is the preservation of the indi- 
vidual, be incontestibly a sense, the same title must 
indubitably be preserved on the organs destined to the 
preservation of the species. 

Let qs then assign to the genesiac the sensual place 
which cannot be refused to it, and let us leave to pos- 
terity the assignment of its peculiar rank. 


If we were permitted, even in imagination, to refer, 
to the first moments of the existence of the human 
race, we would believe that the first sensations were 
direct ; that is to say that all saw confusedly and 
indirectly, smelled without care, ate without tast- 
ing, etc. 

The centre of all these sensations, however, being 
the soul, the sensual attribute of humanity and active 
cause of perfectibility, they are reflected, compared, 
and judged by it ; the other senses then come to the 


assistance of each other, for the utility and well-being 
of the sensitive ; one or individual. 

Thus touch rectifies the errors of sight ; sound, by 
means of articulate speech, becomes the interpreter 
of every sentiment ; taste is aided by sight and smell ; 
hearing compares sounds, appreciates distance ; and 
the genesiac sense takes possession of the organs of 
all the senses. 

The torrent of centuries rolling over the human 
race, has continually brought new perfections, the 
cause of which, ever active though unseen, is found in 
the demands made by our senses, which always in 
their turns demand to be occupied. 

Sight thus gave birth to painting, to sculpture, and 
to spectacles of every kind. 

Sound, to melody, harmony, to the dance, and to 
music in all its branches, and means of execution. 

Smell, to the discovery, manufacture and use of 

Taste, to the production, choice and preparation of 
all that is used for food. 

Touch, to all art, trades and occupations. 

The genesiac sense, to all which prepares or Embel- 
lishes the reunion of senses, and, subsequently to the 
days of Frangois I., to romantic love, to coquetry, 
which originated in France and obtained its name 
there, and from which the elite of the world, collected 
in the capital of the universe, take their lessons every 


This proposition, strange as it seems, is very suscep- 
tible of demonstration ; we cannot express with clear- 
ness in any ancient language, ideas about these three 
great motives of actual society. 

I had written a dialogue on this subject} but sup- 
pressed it for the purpose of permitting the reader, 
each in his own way, to think of the matter for him- 
self. There is enough to occupy the mind and 
display, intelligence and erudition during a whole 

We said above, that the genesiac sense took posses- 
sion of the organs of all the others ; the influence it 
has exerted over all sciences is not less. When we 
look closer, we will find that all that is most delicate 
and ingenious is due to the desire, to hope, or to grati- 
tude, in connexion with the union of the sexes. 

Such is, indeed, the genealogy of the senses, even 
the most abstract ones, all being the immediate result 
of continuous efforts made to gratify our senses. 


These senses, our favorites, are far from being per- 
fect, and I will not pause to prove it. I will only 
observe, that that ethereal sense — sight, and touch, 
which is at the other extremity of the scale, 
have from time acquired a very remarkable additional 



By means of spectacles the eye, so to say, escapes 
from the decay of age, which troubles almost all the 
other organs. 

The telescope has discovered stars hitherto unknown 
and inaccessible to all our means of mensuration ; it 
has penetrated distances so great, that luminous and 
necessarily immense bodies present themselves to us 
only like nebulous and almost imperceptible spots. 

The microscope has made us acquainted with the 
interior configuration of bodies; or has shown the 
existence of a vegetation and of plants, the existence 
of which we were ignorant of. 

Animals a hundred thousand times smaller than any 
visible with the naked eye have been discovered; 
these animalculae, however, move, feed and multiply, 
establishing the existence of organs of inconceivable 

Mechanics have multiplied our power ; man has 
executed all that he could conceive of, and has moved 
weights nature made inaccessible to his weakness. 

By means of arms and of the lever, man has con- 
quered all nature ; he has subjected it to his 
pleasure, wants and caprices. He has overturned 
its surfaces, and a feeble biped has become king of 

Sight and touch, being thus increased in capacity, 
might belong to some species far superior to man ; or 
rather the human species would be far different had 
all the senses been thus improved. 


We most in the meantime remark, that if touch 
has acquired a great development as a muscular 
power, civilization has done almost nothing for it as 
an organ of sensation. We must, however, despair 
of nothing, but remember that the human race is yet 
young, and that only after a long series of years can 
the senses aggrandise their domain. 

For instance. Harmony was only discovered about 
four centuries ago, and that celestial science is to 
sound what painting is to colors. 

Certainly, the ancients used to sing and accompany 
themselves inr unison. Their knowledge, however, 
ended there. They knew neither how to decompose 
sounds, nor to appreciate their relations.* 

Tone was only reduced to system, and accords 
measured in the fifteenth century. Only then it was 
used to sustain the voice and to reinforce the expres- 
sion of sentiments. 

* We are aware that the contrary has been maintained ; the 
idea though cannot be supported. 

Had the ancients been acquainted with harmony, their 
writings would have preserved some precise notion on the 
matter, instead of a few obscure phrases, which may be tor- 
tured to mean anything. ' 

Besides, we cannot follow the birth and progress of harmony 
in the monuments left to us ; this obligation we owe to the 
Arabs, who made us. a present of the organ, which produces 
at one time many continuous sounds, and thus created har- 

52 SEtfSES. 

This discovery, made at so late a day, yet so 
natural, doubled the hearing, and has shown the exist- 
ence of two somewhat independent faculties, one 
of which receives sound and the other appreciates 

The German Doctors say that persons sensible of 
harmony have one sense more than others. 

Of those persons to whom music is but a confused 
mass of sounds, we may remark that almost all sing 
false. We are forced to think that they have the 
auditory apparatus so made, as to receive but brief 
and short undulation, or that the two ears not being 
on the same diapason, the difference in length and 
sensibility of these constituent parts, causes them to 
transmit to the brain only an obscure and undeter- 
mined sensation, like two instruments played in neither 
the same key nor the same measure, and which can 
produce no continuous melody. 

The centuries last passed have also given the taste 
important extension ; the discovery of sugar and its 
different preparations, of alcoholic liquors, of wine, 
ices, vanilla, tea and coffee, have given us flavors 
hitherto unknown. 

"Who knows if touch will not have its day, and if 
some fortuitous circumstance will not open to us thence 
some new enjoyments ? This is especially probable as 
tactile sensitiveness exists every where in the body, 
and consequently can every where be excited. 



We have seen that physical love has taken posses- 
sion of all the sciences. In this respect it acts with 
its habitual tyranny. 

The taste is a more prudent measure but not less 
active faculty. Taste, we say, has accomplished the 
same thing, with a slowness which ensures its success. 

Elsewhere we will consider the march. We may, 
however, observe, that he who has enjoyed a sumptu- 
ous banquet in a hall decked with flowers, mirrors, 
paintings, and statues, embalmed in perfume, enriched 
with pretty women, filled with delicious harmony, 
will not require any great effort of thought to satisfy 
himself that all sciences have been put in requisition 
to exalt and to enhance the pleasures of taste. 


Let us now glance at the system of our senses, con- 
sidered together, and we will see that the Author of 
creation had two objects, one of which is the conse- 
quence of the other, — the preservation of the indi- 
vidual and the duration of the species. 

Such is the destiny of man, considered as a sensi- 
tive being; all his actions have reference to this 
double purpose. 

The eye perceives external objects, reveals the 


wonders by which man is surrounded, and tells him he 
is a portion of the great whole. 

Hearing perceives sounds, not only as an agreeable 
sensation, but as warnings of the movement of bodies 
likely to endanger us. 

The sense of touch watches to warn us by pain of 
any immediate lesion. 

That faithful servant the hand has prepared his 
defence, assured his steps, but has from instinct; 
seized objects it thought needed to repair losses caused 
by the use of life. 

The sense of smell explores ; deleterious substances 
almost always have an unpleasant smell. 

The taste decides ; the teeth are put in action, the 
tongue unites with the palate in tasting, and the 
stomach soon commences the process of assimi- 

In this state a strange languor is perceived, objects 
seem discolored, the body bends, the eyes close, all 
disappears, and the senses are in absolute repose. 

When he awakes man sees that nothing around 
him has changed, a secret fire ferments in his bosom, 
a new organ is developed. He feels that he wishes 
to divide his existence. 

This active unquiet and imperious sentiment is 
common to both sexes. It attracts them together 
and unites them, and when the germ of a new being 
is fecundated, the individuals can sleep in peace. 


They have fulfilled the holiest of their duties by 
assuring the duration of the species.* 

Such are the general and philosophical principles 
I wished to place before my readers, to lead them 
naturally to the examination of the organ of taste. 

* Buffon describes, with all the charms of the most brilliant 
eloquence, the first moments of Eve's existence. Galled on to 
describe almost the same subject, we have drawn bat one fea- 
ture. The reader will complete the picture. 



Taste is the Bense which communicates to us a 
knowledge of vapid bodies by means of the sensations 
which they excite. 

Taste, which has as its excitement appetite, hunger 
and thirst, is the basis of many operations the result 
of which is that the individual believes, developes, 
preserves and repairs the losses occasioned by vital 

Organised bodies are not sustained in the same 
manner. The Author of creation, equally varied in 
causes and effects, has assigned them different modes 
of preservation. 

Vegetables, which are the lowest in the scale of 
living things, are fed by roots, which, implanted in 
the native soil, select by the action of a peculiar 
mechanism, different subjects, which serve to increase 
and to nourish them. 

As we ascend the scale we find bodies gifted with 
animal life and deprived of locomotion. They are 
produced in a medium which favors their existence, 


TASTH. 57 

and have special and peculiar organs which extract all 
that is necessary to sustain the portion and duration 
of life allotted them. They do not seek food, which, 
on the contrary, comes to seek them. 

Another mode has been appointed for animals 
endowed with locomotion, of which man is doubtless 
the most perfect A peculiar instinct warns him of 
the necessity of food ; he seeks and seizes the things 
which he knows are necessary to satisfy his wants ; 
he eats, renovates himself, and thus during his life 
passes through the whole career assigned to him. 

Taste may be considered in three relations. 

In physical man it is the apparatus by means of 
which he appreciates flavors. 

In moral man it is the sensation which the organ 
impressed by any savorous centre impresses on the 
common centre. Considered as a material cause, taste 
is the property which a body has to impress the 
organ and to create a sensation. 

Taste seems to have two chief uses : 

1. It invites us by pleasure to repair the losses 
which result from the use of life. 

2. It assists us to select from among the substances 
offered by nature, those which are alimentary. 

In this choice taste is powerfully aided by the sense 
of smell, as we will see hereafter ; as a general prin- 
ciple, it may be laid down that nutritious substances 
are repulsive neither to the taste nor to the smell. 

58 TASTfi. 


It is difficult to say in exactly what the faculty of 
taste consists. It is more complicated than it 

The tongue certainly plays a prominent part in the 
mechanism of degustation — for, being endued with 
great muscular power, it enfolds, turns, presses and 
swallows food. 

Also, by means of the more or less numerous pores 
which cover it, it becomes impregnated with the sapid 
and soluble portions of the bodies which it is placed 
in contact with. Yet all this does not suffice, for 
many adjacent parts unite in completing the sensa- 
tion—viz : jaws, palate, and especially the nasal tube, 
to which physiologists have perhaps not paid attention 

The jaws furnish saliva, as necessary to mastication 
as to the formation of the digestible mass. They, like 
the palate, are gifted with a portion of the apprecia- 
tive faculties ; I do not know that, in certain cases, 
the nose does not participate, and if but for the odor 
which is felt in the back of the mouth, the sensation 
of taste would not be obtuse and imperfect. 

Persons who have no tongue or who have lost it, 
yet preserve the sensation of taste. All the books 
mention the first case ; the second was explained to 
me by an unfortunate man, whose tongue had been 
cut out by the Algerines for having, with several of 

TASTE. 59 

his companions, formed a plot to escape from. cap- 

I met this man at Amsterdam, where he was a kind 
of broker. He was a person of education, and by 
writing was perfectly able to make himself under- 

Observing that his whole tongue, to the very 
attachment, had been cut away, I asked him if he yet 
preserved any sense of taste when he ate, and if the 
sense of taste had survived the cruel operation he had 

He told me his greatest annoyance was in swallow- 
ing, (which indeed was difficult ;) that he had a full 
appreciation of tastes and flavors, but that acid and 
bitter substances produced intense pain. 

He told me the abscission of the tongue was very 
common in the African kingdoms, and was made use 
of most frequently to punish those thought to be the 
leaders of any plot, and that they had peculiar instru- 
ments to affect it with. I wished him to describe 
them, but he showed such painful reluctance in this 
matter, that I did not insist. 

I reflected on what he said, and ascending to the 
centuries of ignorance, when the tongues of blas- 
phemers were cut and pierced, I came to the conclu- 
sion that these punishments were of Moorish origin, 
and were imported by the crusaders. 

We have seen above, that the sensation of taste 
resided chiefly in the pores and feelers of the tongue. 

60 TASTE. 

Anatomy tells us that all tongues are not exactly 
alike, there being three times as many feelers in some 
tongues as in others. This circumstance will explain 
why one of two guests, sitting at the same table, is 
delighted, while the other seems to eat from con- 
straint ; the latter has a tongue but slightly provided. 
These are recognized in the empire of the taste — both 
deaf and dumb. 


Five or six opinions have been advanced as to the 
modus operandi of the sensation of taste. I have 
mine, viz : 

The sensation of taste is a chemical operation, 
produced by humidity. That is to say, the savorous 
particles must be dissolved in some fluid, so as to be 
subsequently absorbed by the nervous tubes, feelers, 
or tendrils, which cover the interior of the gastatory 

This system, whether true or not, is sustained by 
physical and almost palpable proofs. 

Pure water creates no sensation, because it contains 
no sapid particle. Dissolve, however, a grain of salt, 
or infuse a few drops of vinegar, and there will be 

Other drinks, on the contrary, create -sensation 
because they are neither more nor less than liquids 
filled with appreciable particles. 


It would be in vain for the month to fill itself with 
the divided particles of an insoluble body. The 
tongue would feel by touch the sensation of their 
presence, but not that of taste. 

In relation to solid and savorous bodies, it is neces- 
sary in the first place for the teeth to divide them, 
that the saliva and other tasting fluids to imbibe 
them, and that the tongue press them against the 
palate, so as to express a juice, which, when sufficiently 
saturated by the degastory tendrils, deliver to the 
substance the passport it requires for admission into 
the stomach. 

This system, which will yet receive other develop- 
ments, replies without effort to the principal questions 
which may present themselves. 

If we demand what 'is understood by sapid bodies, 
we reply that it is every thing that has flavor, which is 
soluble, and fit to be absorbed by the organ of taste. 

If asked how a sapid body acts, we reply that it 
acts when it is reduced to such a state of dissolution 
that it enters the cavities made to receive it. 

In a word, nothing is sapid but what is already or 
nearly dissolved. 


The number of flavors is infinite, for every soluble 
body has a peculiar flavor, like none other. 

Flavors are also modified by their simple, double-, 
or multiple aggregation. It is impossible to make 


62 TASTE. 

any description, either of the most pleasant or of the 
most unpleasant, of the ra&pberry or of colocynth. 
All who have tried to do so have failed. 

This result should not amaze us, for being gifted 
with an infinite variety of simple flavors, which mix- 
ture modifies to such a number and to such a quantity, 
a new language would be needed to express their 
effects, and mountains of folios to describe them. 
Numerical character alone could label them. 

Now, as yet, net flavor has ever been appreciated 
with rigorous exactness, we have been forced to be 
satisfied with a limited number of expressions such as 
sweet, sugary, acid, bitter, and similar ones, which, 
when ultimately analyzed, are expressed by the two 
following agreeable and disagreeable, which suffice to 
make us understood, and indicate the flavor of the 
sapid substances referred to. 

Those who come after us will know more, for doubt- 
less chemistry will reveal the causes or primitive ele- 
ments of flavors. 


The order I marked out for myself has insensibly 
led me to the moment to render to smell the rights 
which belong to it, and to recognise the important 
services it renders to taste and the application of 
flavors. Among the authors I have met with, I recog- 
nise none as having done full justice to it. 

For my own part, I am not only persuaded that 

TASTE. (53 

without the interposition of the organs of smell, there 
would be no complete degustation, and that the taste 
and the sense of smell form but one sense, of which 
the mouth is the laboratory and the nose the chimney; 
or to speak more exactly, that one tastes tactile sub- 
stances, and the other exhalations. 

This may be vigorously defended ; yet as I do not 
wish to establish a school, I venture on it only to give 
my readers a subject of thought, and to show that I 
have carefully looked over the subject of which I 
write. Now I continue my demonstration of the 
importance of the sense of smell, if not as a constitu- 
ent portion of taste, at least as a necessary adjunct. 

All sapid bodies are necessarily odorous, and there- 
fore belong as well to the empire of the one as of the 
other sense. 

We eat nothing without seeing this, more or less 
plainly. The nose plays the part of sentinel, and 
always cries " who goes there ?" 

Close the nose, and the taste is paralyzed ; a thing 
proved by three experiments any one can make : 

1. When the nasal membrane is irritated by a vio- 
lent coryza (cold in the head) the taste is entirely 
obliterated. There is no taste in anything we swal- 
low, yet the tongue is in its normal state. 

2. If we close the nose when we eat, we are amazed 
to see how obscure and imperfect the sense of touch 
is. The most disgusting medicines thus are swallowed 
almost without taste. 

64 TASTE. 

3. The same effect is observed if, as soon as we 
have swallowed, instead of restoring the tongue to its 
uaual place, it be kept detached from the palate. 
Thus the circulation of the air is intercepted, the 
organs of smell are not touched, and there is no taste. 

These effects have the same cause, from the fact that 
the sense of smell does not co-operate with the taste. 
The sapid body is appreciated only on account of the 
juice, and not for the odorous gas which emanates 
from it* 


Principles being thus determined, I look on it as 
certain that taste has given place to sensations of 
three different orders, viz: direct, complete and 

Direct sensation is the first perception emanating 
from the intermediate organs of the mouth, during the 
time that the sapid body rests on the tongue. 

Complete sensation is that composed of the first 
impression which is created when the food abandons 
this first position, passes into the back of the mouth, 
and impresses all the organ with both taste and per- 

Reflected sensation is the judgment which conveys 
to the soul the impressions transmitted to it by the 

Let us put this system in action by observing what 
takes place when a man either eats or drinks. 

TASTE. 65 

Let a man, for instance, eat a peach, and he will 
first be agreeably impressed by the odor which ema- 
nates from it. He places it in his mouth, and acid 
and fresh flavors induce him to continue. Not, 
though, until he has swallowed it, does the [perfume 
reveal itself, nor does he till then discover the pecu- 
liar flavor of every variety. Some time is pecessary 
for any gourmet? to say, " It is good, passable, or 
bad. It is Chambertin, or something else." 

It may then be seen that in obedience to principles 
and practice well understood, true amateurs sip their 
wine. Every mouthful thus gives them the sum total 
of pleasure which they would not have enjoyed had 
they swallowed it at once. 

The same thing takes place, with however much 
more energy, when the taste is disagreeably affected. 

Just look at the patient of some doctor who pre- 
scribes immense doses of black medicine, such as were 
given during the reign of Louis XIV. 

The sense of smell, like a faithful counsellor, fore- 
tells its character. The eyes expand as they do at 
the approach of danger ; disgust is on the lips and 
the stomach at once rebells. He is however besought 
to take courage, gurgles his throat with brandy, closes 
his nose and swallows. 

* Any gentleman or lady, who may please, is at perfect 
liberty to translate the word gourmet into any other tongue. 
I cannot. As much may be said of gourmand. — Translator. 


gg TASTE. 

As long as the odious compound fills the mouth and 
stuns the organ it is tolerable, but when it has been 
swallowed the after drops develop themselves, nauseous 
odors arise, and every feature of the patient expresses 
horror and disgust, which the fear of death alone 
could induce him to bear. 

If the draught be on the contrary merely insipid, 
as for instance a glass of water, there is neither taste 
nor after taste. Nothing is felt, nothing is expe- 
rienced, it is swallowed, and all is over. 


Taste is not so richly endowed as the hearing ; the 
latter can appreciate and compare many sounds at 
once ; the taste on the contrary is simple in its action ; 
that is to say it cannot be sensible to two flavors at 

It may though be doubled and multipled by succes- 
sion, that is to say that in the act of swallowing there 
may be a second and even a third sensation, each of 
which gradually grows weaker and weaker and which 
are designated by the words after-taste, perfume or 
fragrance. Thus when a chord is struck, one ear 
exercises and discharges many series of consonances, 
the number of which is not as yet perfectly known. 

Those who eat quickly and without attention, do 
not discern impressions of the second degree. They 
belong only to a certain number of the elect, and by the 
means of these second sensations only can be classed 

TASTE. 07 

the different substances submitted to their exami- 

These fugitive shadows for a long time vibrate in 
the organ of taste. The professors, beyond doubt, 
always assume an appropriate position, and when they 
give their opinions they always do so with expanded 
nostrils, and with their necks protruded far as they 
can go. 


Let us now look philosophically at the pleasure and 
pain occasioned by taste. 

The first thing we become convinced of is that man 
is organized so as to be far more sensible of pain than 
of pleasure. 

In fact the imbibing of acid or bitter substances 
subjects us to sensations more or less painful, accord- 
ing to their degree. It is said that the cause of the 
rapid effects of hydrocyanic acid is, that the pain is 
so great as to be unbearable by the powers of vitality. 

The scale of agreeable sensations on the other hand 
is very limited, and if there be a sensible difference 
between the insipid and that which flatters the taste, 
the interval is not so great between the good and the 
excellent. The following example proves this: — 
First term a BouiUi dry and hard. Second term 
a piece of veal. Third term a pheasant done to a 

Of all the senses though with which we have been 

6g TA8OT. 

endowed by nature, the taste is the one, which all 
things considered, procures us the most enjoyments. 

1. Because the pleasure of eating is the only one, 
when moderately enjoyed, not followed by fatigue. 

2. It belongs to all reras, ages and ranks. 

8. Because it necessarily returns once a day, and 
may without inconvenience be twice or thrice repeated 
in the same day. 

4. It mingles with all other pleasures, and even 
consoles us for their absence. 

5. Because the impressions it receives are durable 
and dependant on our will. 

6. Because when we eat we receive a certain 
indefinable and peculiar impression of happiness 
originating in instinctive conscience. When we eat 
too, we repair our losses and prolong our lives. 

This will be more carefully explained in the chapter 
we devote to the pleasures of the table, considered. as 
it has been advanced by civilization. 


We were educated in the pleasant faith that of all 
things that walk, swim, crawl, or fly, man has the 
most perfect taste. 

This faith is liable to be shaken. 

Dr. Gall, relying on I know not what examinations, 
says there are many animals with the gustatory appa- 
ratus more developed and extended than man's. 

This does not sound well and looks like heresy. 

TA8TX. 09 

Mao, jure divino, king of all nature, for the benefit 
of whom the world was peopled, must necessarily be 
supplied with an organ which places him in relation 
to all that is sapid in his subjects. 

The tongue of animals does not exceed their intel- 
ligence ; in fishes the tongue is but a movable bone, 
in birds it is usually a membranous cartilage, and in 
quadrupeds it is often covered with scales and asperi- 
ties, and has no circumflex motion. 

The tongue of man on the contrary, from the 
delicacy of its texture and the different membranes 
by which it is surrounded and which are near to it 
announces the sublimity of the operations to which it 
is destined. 

I have, at least, discovered three movements un- 
known to animals, which I call spication, rotation and 
vernation (from the Latin verb verro, I sweep). The 
first is when the tongue, like a pike, comes beyond 
the lips which repress it. The second is when the 
tongue rotates around all the space between the inte- 
rior of the jaws and the palate. The third is when 
the tongue moves up and down and gathers the parti- 
cles which remain in the half circular canal formed 
by the lips and gums. 

Animals are limited in their taste ; some live only 
on vegetables, others on flesh ; others feed altogether 
on grain ; none know anything of composite flavors. 

Man is omnivorous. All that is edible is subjected 
to his vast appetite, a thing which causes gustatory 

70 TASTB. 

powers proportionate to the use he has to make of 
them. The apparatus of taste is a rare perfection of 
man and we have only to see him use it to be satisfied 
of it. 

As soon as any esculent body is introduced into 
the mouth it is confiscated hopelessly, gas, juice 
and all. 

The lips prevent its retrogression* The teeth take 
possession of it and crush it. The salva imbibes it ; y 
the tongue turns it over and over, an aspiration forces 
it to the thorax; the tongue lifts it up to suffer it to 
pass. The sense of smell perceives it en route, and 
it is precipitated into the stomach to undergo ulterior 
transformations, without the most minute fragment 
during the whole of this escaping. Every drop every 
atom has been appreciated. 

In consequence of this perfection, gourmandise is 
the exclusive apanage of man. 

This gourmandise is even contagious, and we im- 
part it without difficulty to the animals we have appro- 
priated to our use, and which in a nfenner associate 
with us, such as elephants, dogs, cats, and parrots 

Besides taste requiring to be estimated only by the 
value of the sensation it communicates to the common J 

centre, the impression received by the animal cannot 
be compared to that imparted to man. The latter is 
more precise and clear, and necessarily supposes a 
superior quality in the organ which transmits it. 

TASTE. . 71 

In fine, what can we desire in a faculty susceptible 
of such perfection that the gourmands of Rome 
were able to distinguish the flavors of fish taken above 
and below the bridge ? Have we not seen in our own 
time, that gourmands can distinguish the flavor of the 
thigh on which the partridge lies down from the other? 
Are we not surrounded by gourmets who can tell the 
latitude in which any wine ripened as surely as one of 
Biot's or Arago's disciples can foretell an eclipse ? 

The consequence then is that we must render to 
Caesar the things which are Caesar's and proclaim man 
the great gourmand of nature, and not be surprised 
if the good Doctor does sometimes as Homer did : — 
"3lu# juweilcn ftyttfrrt ber gute ©•••." 


As yet we have treated the taste only from the 
physical point of view, and in some anatomical details 
which none will regret, we have remained pari passti 
with science. This does not however conclude the 
task we have imposed on ourselves, for from its usual 
attributes especially does this reparatory sense derive 
, its importance. 

We have then arranged in analytical order the 
theories and facts which -compose the ensemble of 
this history, so that instruction without fatigue will 
result from it. 

Thus in the following chapters, we will often show 
how sensations by repetition and reflection have per- 

72 TASTB. 

fected the organs and extended the sphere of our 
powers. How the want of food, once a mere instinct, 
has become a passion which has assumed a marked 
ascendency of all that belongs to society. 

We will also say, how all sciences which have to do 
with the composition of substances, have agreed to 
place in a separate category all those appreciable to 
the taste ; and how travellers have followed in the 
same pathway when they placed before us substances 
nature apparently never meant us to see. 

We will follow chemistry to the very moment when 
it penetrated our subterraneous laboratories to 
enlighten our preparers, to establish principles, to 
create methods and to unveil causes which had 
remained occult. 

In fine we ml\ see by the combined power of time 
" and experience that a new science has all at once 
appeared, which feeds, nourishes, restores, preserves, 
persuades, consoles, and not content with strewing 
handsfull of flowers over the individual, contributes 
much to the power and prosperity of empires. 

If, amid the grave lucubrations, a piquante an- 
ecdote, or an agreeable reminiscence of a stormy life 
drips from my pen, we will let it remain to enable 
the attention to rest for a moment, so that our readers, 
the number of whom does not alarm us, may have 
time to breathe. We would like to chat with them. 
If they be men we know they are indulgent as they 

TABTB. 78 

are well informed. If women they must be charm- 

'* Here the Professor, fall of his subject, Buffers his hand to 
fall and rises to the seventh heaven. 

He ascends the torrent of ages, and takes from their cradle 
all sciences, the object of which is the gratification of taste. 
He follows their progress through the night of time and seeing 
that in the pleasures they procure us, early centures were not 
so great as those which followed them : he takes his lyre and 
sings in the Dorian style the elegy which will be found among 
the varieties at the end of the volume. 



The sciences are not like Minerva who started 
ready armed from the brain of Jupiter. They are 
children of time and are formed insensibly by the 
collection of the methods pointed out by experience, 
and at a later day by the principles deduced from the 
combination of these methods. 

Thus old men, the prudence of whom caused them 
to be called to the bed-side of invalids, whose com- 
passion taught to cure wounds, were the first physi- 

The shepherds of Egypt, who observed that certain 
stars after the lapse of a certain period of time met 
in the heavens, were the first astronomers. 

The person who first uttered in simple language 
the truth, 2 + 2=4 created mathematics, that 
mighty science which really placed man on the throne 
of the universe. 

In the course of the last sixty years, many new 
sciences have taken their place in the category of our 


knowledge, among which is 8t£r£otomy, descriptive 
geometry, and the chemistry of gas. 

All sciences cultivated for a long time must advance, 
especially as the art of printing makes retrogression 
impossible. Who knows, for instance, if the chem- 
istry of gases will not ultimately overcome those, as 
yet, rebellious substances, mingle and combine them 
in proportions not as yet tempted, and thence obtain 
substances and effects which would remove many 
restrictions in our powers. 


Gastronomy has at last appeared, and all the sister 
sciences have made a way for it. 

Well ; what could be refused to that which sustains 
us, from the cradle to the grave, which increases the 
gratifications of love and the confidence of friendship 
which disarms hatred and offers us, in the short pas- 
sage of our lives, the only pleasure which not being 
followed by fatigue makes us weary of all others. 

Certainly, as long as it was confided to merely hired 
attendants, as long as the secret was kept in cellars, 
and where dispensaries were written, the results were 
but the products of an art. 

At last, too late, perhaps, savants drew near. 

They examined, analyzed, and classified alimentary 
substances, and reduced them to simple elements. 

They measured the mysteries of assimilation, and 


following most matter in all its metamorphoses saw 
how it became vivified. 

They watched diet in its temporary and permanent 
effects, for days, months and lives. 

They even estimated its influence and thought to 
ascertain if the savor be impressed by the organs or 
if it acts without them. From all this they deduced 
a lofty theory which embraces all mankind, and all 
that portion of creation which may be animalized. 

While all this was going on in the studies of savants, 
it. was said in drawing-rooms that the science which 
fed man was at least as valuable as that which killed 
him. Poets sang the pleasures of the table and books, 
the object of which was good cheer, awakened the 
greatest and keenest interest in the profound views 
and maxims they presented. 

Such were the circumstances which preceded the 
invention of gastronomy. 


Gastronomy is a scientific definition of all that 
relates to man as a feeding animal. 

Its object is to watch over the preservation of man 
by means of the best possible food. 

It does so by directing, according to certain prin- 
ciples, all those who procure, search for, or prepare 
things which may be converted into food. 

To tell the truth this is what moves cultivators, 
vine-dressers, fishermen, huntsmen, and the immense 


family of cooks, whatever title or qualification they 
bear, to the preparation of food. 

Gastronomy is a chapter of natural history, for the 
fact that it makes a classification of alimentary sub- 

Of physics, for it examines their properties and 

Of chemistry, from the various analysis and decom- 
position to which it subjects them. 

Of cookery, from the fact that it prepares food and 
makes it agreeable. 

Of commerce, from the fact that it purchases at as 
low a rate as possible what it consumes, and displays 
to the greatest advantage what it oilers for sale. 

Lastly it is a chapter of political economy, from 
the resources it furnishes the taxing power, and the 
means of exchange it substitutes between nations. 
. Gastronomy rules all life, for the tears of the infant 
cry for the bosom of the nurse ; the dying man receives 
with some degree of pleasure the last cooling drink, 
which, alas ! he is unable to digest. 

It has to do with all classes of society, for if it 
presides over the banquets of assembled kings, it cal- 
culates the number of minutes of ebullition which an 
egg requires. 

The material of gastronomy is all that may be 
eaten ; its object is direct, the preservation of indi- 
viduals. Its means of execution are cultivation, which 
produces; commerce, which exchanges; industry, 


which prepares ; and experience, which teaches us to 
put them to the best use. 


Gastronomy considers taste in its pleasures and in 
its pains. It has discovered the gradual excitements 
of which it is susceptible ; it regularizes its action, and 
has fixed limits, which a man who respects. himself 
will never pass. 

It also considers the action of food or aliments on 
the moral of man, on his imagination, his mind, his 
judgment, his courage, and his perceptions, whether 
he is awake, sleeps, acts, or reposes. 

Gastronomy determines the degree of esculence of 
every alimentary subject; all are not presentable 
under the same circumstances. 

Some can be eaten until they are entirely developed. 
Such like as capres, asparagus, sucking pigs, squabs, 
and other animals eaten only when they are young. 

Others, as soon as they have reached all the perfec- 
tion to which they are destined, like melons, fruit, 
mutton, beef, and grown animals. Others when they 
begin to decompose, such as snipe, wood-cock and 
pheasant. Others not until cooking has destroyed all 
their injurious properties, such as the potato, manioc, 
and other substances. 

Gastronomy classifies all of these substances accord- 
ing to their qualities, and indicates those which will 
mingle, and measuring the quantity of nourishment 


they contain, distinguishes those which should make 
the basis of our repast, from those which are only 
accessories, and others which, though not necessary, 
are an agreeable relief, and become the obligate 
accompaniment of convivial gossip. 

It takes no less interest in the beverages intended 
for us, according to time, place and climate. It 
teaches their preparation and preservation, and espe- 
cially presents them in an order so exactly calculated, 
that the pleasure perpetually increases, until gratifica- 
tion ends and abuse begins. 

Gastronomy examines men and things for the pur- 
pose of transporting, from one country to another, all 
that deserves to be known, and which causes a well 
arranged entertainment, to be an abridgement of the 
world in which each portion is represented. 


Gastronomical knowledge is necessary to all men, 
for it tends to augment the sum of happiness. This 
utility becomes the greater in proportion as it is used 
by the more comfortable classes of society ; it is indis- 
pensable to those who have large incomes, and enter- 
tain a great deal, either because in this respect they 
discharge an obligation, follow their own inclination, 
or yield to fashion. 

They have this special advantage, that they take 
personal pleasure in the manner their table is kept ; 
they can, to a certain point, superintend the deposito- 


ries of their confidence, and even on many occasions 
direct them. 

The Prince de Soubise once intended to give an 
entertainment, and asked for the bill of fare. 

The maitre d'hotel came with a list surrounded by 
vignettes, and the first article that met the Prince's 
eye was fifty hams. " Bertrand," said the Prince, 
" I think you must be extravagant; fifty hams ! Do 
you intend to feast my whole regiment ?" 

" No, Prince, there will be but one on the table, and 
the surplus I need for my epagnole, my blonds, garni- 
tures, etc." 

" Bertrand, you are robbing me. This article will 
not do." 

" Monsigneur," said the artist, " you do not appre- 
ciate me ! Give the order, and I will put those fifty 
hams in a chrystal flask no longer than my thumb." 

What could be said to such a positive operation ? 
The Prince smiled, and the hams were passed. 


• In men not far removed from a state of nature, it 
is well known that all important affairs are discussed 
at their feasts. Amid their festivals savages decide 
on war and peace ; we need not go far to know that 
villages decide on all public affairs at the cabinet. 

This observation has not escaped those to whom the 
weightiest affairs are often confided. They saw that 
a full stomached individual was very different from a 


fasting one; that the table established a kind of 
alliance between the parties, and made guests more 
apt to receive certain impressions and submit to cer- 
tain influences. This was the origin of political gas- 
tronomy. Entertainments have becoma governmental 
measures, and the fate of nations is decided on in a 
banquet. This is neither a paradox nor a novelty 
but a simple observation of fact. Open every histo- 
rian, from the time of Herodotus to our own days, and 
it will be seen that, not even excepting conspiracies, 
no great event ever took place, not conceived, pre- 
pared and arranged at a festival. 


Such, at the first glance, appears to be the domain 
of gastronomy, a realm fertile in results of every kind 
and which is aggrandized by the discoveries and inven- 
tions of those who cultivate it. It is certain that 
before the lapse of many years, gastronomy will have 
its academicians, courses, professors, and premiums. 

At first some rich and zealous gastronomer will 
establish periodical assemblies, in which the most 
learned theorists will unite with artists, to discuss and 
measure the various branches of alimentation. 

Soon (such is the history of all academies) the 
government will intervene, will regularise, protect, and 
institute ; it will seize the opportunity to reward the 
people for all orphans made by war, for all the 
Arianas whose tears have been evoked by the drum. 



Happy will be the depository of power who will 
attach his name to this necessary institution ! His 
name will be repeated from age to age with that of 
Noah, Bacchus, Triptolemus, and other benefactors of 
humanity; he will be among ministers what Henri 
IV. was among kings ; his eulogy will be in every 
mouth, though no regulation make it a necessity. 



Motion and life occasion in the animal portion of 
all that lives a constant loss of substance, and the 
human body, that most complicated machine, would 
soon be unfit for use, did not Providence provide it 
with a mark to inform it of the very moment when its 
power is no longer in equilibrium with its wants. 

This monitor is appetite. By this word we under- 
stand the first impression of the want of food. 

Appetite declares itself by languor in the stomach, 
and & slight sensation of fatigue. 

The soul at the same time busies itself with things 
analogous to its wants ; memory recalls food that has 
flattered its taste ; imagination fancies that it sees 
them, and something like a dream takes place. This 
state is not without pleasure, and we have heard many 
adepts say> with joy in their heart, " What a pleasure 
it is to have a good appetite, when we are certain of 
a good meal." 


The whole nutritive apparatus is moved. The 
stomach becomes sensible, the gastric juices are moved 
and displace themselves with noise, the mouth becomes 
moist, and all the digestive powers are under arms, 
like soldiers awaiting the word of command. After a 
few moments there will be spasmodic motion, pain 
and hunger. 

Every shade of these gradations may be observed 
in every drawing-room, when dinner is delayed. " 

They are such in nature, that the most exquisite 
politeness cannot disguise the symptoms. From this 
fact I deduced the apothegm, " The most indispen- 
sable quality of a good cook is promptness. 91 


I will sustain this grave maxim by the details of 
an observate, made at an entertainment where I 

" Quorum magna pars fui," 

and where the pleasures of observation preserved me 
from the anguish of misery. 

I was invited to dine with a high public functionary. 
The hour was half past five, and at the appointed 
time all were present. We knew he liked exactness, 
and always scolded the dilatory. 

I was amazed, when I came, at the consternation 
which pervaded the party. People whispered together, 
and looked into the court-yard through the window — 
all betokened something extraordinary. 


I approached the one of the guests I thought best 
able to satisfy my curiosity, and asked him what the 
news was. 

"Alas!" said they, " Monsieur has been sent for 
to the Council of State ; he has just gone, and none 
know when he will return." 

" Is that all !" said I. " Be of good cheer, we will 
be detained only a quarter of an hour ; something 
particular has happened. All know to-day is his 
regular dinner, and we will not have to fast." I 
was not, however, easy, and wished I was away. 

The first hour passed well enough, and those who 
were intimate sat together. Common places were 
exhausted, and conjectures were formed as to what 
could have called the Prince to the Tuilleries 

At the commencement of the second hour there 
were many signs of impatience ; people looked anxi- 
ously at each other, and the first who murmured were 
three or four guests who, finding no place to sit in, 
were not in a convenient position to wait. 

At the third hour, the discontent became general, 
and every symptom became exaggerated. "When 
will he return ?" said one. " What can he be think- 
ing of?" said another. " This is death," said a third. 
This question was then put, but not determined, 
" Shall we go or not ?" 

At the fourth hour every symptom became aggra- 
vated. People stretched out their arms without the 
slightest regard whether they interrupted their neigh- 



bors or not. Unpleasant sounds were heard from all 
parts of the room, and everywhere the faces of the 
guests bore the marks of concentration. No one 
listened to me when I remarked that beyond doubt 
our absent amphytrion was more unhappy than any 
one of us. 

Our attention was for a moment, arrested by an 
apparition. One of the guests, better acquainted 
with the house than the others, had gone into the 
kitchen, and returned panting. His face looked as 
if the day of judgment had come, and in an almost 
inarticulate voice, which announced at once both the 
fear of making a noise and of not being heard, " Mon- 
signeur went away without giving any orders, and 
happen what may, dinner will not be served until his 

The terror caused by what he said could not be 
exceeded by that to be expected at the last trump. 

Among the martyrs, the most unfortunate was 
D' Aigrefeuille, whom all Paris knew. His whole body 
seemed to suffer, and the agony of Laocoon was 
marked on his face. Pale, terrified, he saw nothing 
but sank in a chair, grasped his hands on his round 
stomach, and closed his eyes, not to sleep but to die. 

He did not though. About ten o'clock a carriage 
drove into the yard. All were on the qui-vive and a 
arose spontaneously. Hilarity succeeded suffering, 
and in five minutes we were at the table. 

Appetite however was gone, all seemed amased to 

1 - 


sit down to dinner at Bach an unusual hour ; the jaws 
had not that isochronous measure which announces a 
regular business. I know many were sufferers thus. 

The course to be taken is not to eat immediately 
after the obstacle has ceased, but to drink a glass of 
.eau-sucree, or take a plate of soup to sustain the 
stomachy and then in ten or fifteen minutes to begin 
dinner, to prevent the stomach being oppressed by the 
weight of the aliments with which it is surcharged. 


When we see in early books a description of the 
preparations made to receive two or three persons, 
and the enormous masses served up to a single guest, 
we cannot refuse to think that those who lived in 
early ages were gifted with great appetites. 

The appetite was thought to increase in direct ratio 
to the dignity of the personage. He to whom the 
Saddle of a five year old ox would be served was 
expected to drink from a cup he could scarcely lift. 

Some individuals have existed who testified to what 
once passed, and have collected details of almost 
incredible variety, which included even the foulest 

I will not inflict these disgusting details on my 
readers, and prefer to tell them two particular circum- 
stances which I witnessed, and which do not require 
any great exertion of faith. 

About forty years ago, I made a short visit to the 


cure at Bregnier, a man of immense stature and who 
had a fearful appetite. 

Though it was scarcely noon I found him at the table. 
Soup and bouilli had been brought on, to these two 
indispensables had succeeded a leg of mutton a la 
Roy ale, a capon and a salad. 

As soon as he saw me he ordered a plate which I 
refused, and rightly too. Without any assistance he 
got rid of every thing, viz : he picked the bone of 
mutton and ate up all the salad. 

They brought him a large white cheese into which 
he made an angular breach measured by an arc of 
ninety degrees. He washed down all with a bottle 
of wine and glass of water, after which he laid down. 

What pleased me was to see that during the whole 
of this business, the venerable pastor did not seem 
busy. The large mouthfulls he swallowed did not 
prevent him either from laughing or talking. He 
dispatched all that was put before him easily as he 
would have a pair of birds. 

So it was with General Bisson who drank eight 
bottles of wine at dinner every day, and who never 
appeared the worse for it. He had a glass larger 
than usual and emptied it oftener. He did not care 
for that though, for after having swallowed six ounces 
of fluids he could jest and give his orders as if he had 
only swallowed & thimble full. 

This anecdote recalls to me my townsman, General 


P. Sibuet, long the chief aide of Napoleon, and who 
was killed in 1818 at the passage of the Bober. 

He was eighteen years old, and had at that time the 
appetite by which nature announces that its possessor 
is a perfect man, and went one night into the kitchen 
of Genin, an inn "keeper of Belley, where the old 
men of the town used to meet to eat chestnuts and 
drink the new white wine called in the country vin 

The old men were not hungry and paid no atten- 
tion to him. His digestive powers were not shaken 
though, and he said " I have just left the table, but 
I will bet that I eat a whole turkey." 

" If you eat it I will pay for it," said Bouvier du 
Bouchet, a rich farmer who was present, " and if you 
do not I will eat what is left and you shall pay 
for it."* 

They set to work at once, and the young athlete at 
once cut off a wing, he ate it at two mouthfulls and 
cleaned his teeth by gnawing the bone and drank a 
glass of wine as an interlude. 

He then went into the thigh which he ate and 
drank another glass of wine to prepare a passage for 
the rest. The second went the same way, and he 
had come to the iast limb when the unfortunate farmer 

* This sentence is patois, and the translator inserts the 
original. ' " Sez vosu meze, z'u payo, repondit Bouvier du 
Bouchet, gros fermier qui se trouvait present ; e sez vos caca 
en rotaz, i-zet vo ket paire* et may ket mezerai la restas." 


8aid, " alas ! I see it is all over, but Mr. Sibouet as 
I have to pay, let me eat a bit."* 

Prosper was ad good a fellow as he was a soldier, 
and consented. The farmer had the carcass at spolia 
opima, and paid for the fowl with a good grace. 

General Sibuet used always to "love to tell of this 
feat of his youth. He said that his admitting the 
farmer to eat was a pure courtesy, and that he could 
easily have won the bet. His appetite at forty per- 
mitted none to doubt the assertion. 

Brillat-Savarin, says in a note, "I quote this 
fragment of the patois of Bugey with pleasure. In 
it fe found -the English 'th and the Greek 0, and in 
the word praou and others, a dipthong existing in 
no language, the sound of which no character can 
describe. (See 3rf volume of the memoirs of the Royal 
Society of Antiquarians of France.) 

* This also is patois. " Hai ! ze vaie praou qu'izet fotu ; 
m'ex, monche Chibouet, poez kaet zu daive paiet, lease m'en 
am'en mesiet on mocho." 





What is understood by aliments ? 

Popular answer. AH that nourishes us. 

Scientific answer. By aliments are understood the 
substances which, when submitted to the stomach, may 
be assimulated by digestion, and repair the losses 
which the human body is subjected to in life. 

The distinctive quality of an aliment, therefore, is 
its liability to animal assimulation. 


The animal and vegetable kingdoms are those which 
until now have furnished food to the human race. 

Since analytical chemistry has become a certain 
science, much progress has been made into the double 
nature of the elements of which our body is composed, 
and of the substances which nature appears to have 
intended to repair their losses. 



These studies had a great analogy, for man is to a 
great degree composed both of the substances on 
which animals feed, and was also forced to look in the 
vegetable kingdom for affinities susceptible of animali- 

In these two walks the most praiseworthy efforts 
have been made always as minute as possible, and the 
curious have followed either the human body or the 
food which invigorates it, first to their secondary prin- 
ciples, and then to their elements, beyond which we 
have not been permitted to penetrate. ' 

Here I intended to have given a little treatise on ali- 
mentary chemistry, and to tell my readers, to how many 
thousands of hydrogen, carbon, etc., may be reduced 
the dishes that sustain us. I did not do so, however, 
because I remembered I would only have to copy 
many excellent treatises on chemistry in the hands of 
every body. I feared, too, that I would relapse into 
very barren details, and limited myself to a very rea- 
sonable nomenclature, which will only require the 
explanation of a small number of very usual terms. 


The greatest service chemistry has rendered to ali- 
mentary science, is the discovery of osmaz6me, or 
rather the determination of what it was. 

OsmazSme is the purely sapid portion of flesh solu- 


ble in cold water, and separated from the extractive 
portion which is only soluble in boiling water. 

Osmazome is the most meritorious ingredient of all 
good soups. This portion of the animal forms the red 
portion of flesh, and the solid parts of roasts. It gives 
game and venison its peculiar flavor. 

Osmazdme is most abundant in grown animals 
which have red or black hair ; it is scarcely found at 
all in the lamb, sucking pig, chicken, and the white 
meat of the largest fowls. For this reason true con- 
noisseurs always prefer the second joint ; instinct with 
them was the precursor of science. 

Thus a knowledge of the existence of osmazfime, 
caused so many cooks to be dismissed, who insisted on 
always throwing away the first bouillon made from 
meat. This made the reputation of the soupe de% 
primes, and induced the canon Chevrier to invent 
his locked kettles. The Abbe Chevrier was the per- 
son who never would eat until Friday, lobsters that 
had not been cooked on the previous Sunday, and 
every intervening day placed on the fire with the addi- 
tion of fresh butter. 

• To make use of this subject, though yet unknown, 
was introduced the maxim, that to make good bouillon 
the kettle should only smile. 

OsmazSme, discovered after having been so long 
the delight of our fathers, may be compared to alco- 
hol, which made whole generations drunk before it 
was simply exhibited by distillation. 



The fibre is what composes the tissue of the meat, 
and wfiat is apparent after the juices have been 
extracted. The fibres resist boiling water, and pre- 
serve their form, though stripped of a portion of their 
wrappings. To carve meat properly the fibres should 
be cut at right angles, or nearly so, with the blade of 
the knife. Meat thus carved looks better, tastes 
better, and is more easily chewed. 

The bones are composed principally of gelatine and 
the phosphate of lime. 

The quantity of gelatine diminishes as we grow 
older. At seventy the bones are but an imperfect 
marble, the reason why they are so easily broken, 
and why old men should carefully avoid any fall. 

Albumen is found both in the flesh and the blood. 
It coagulates at a heat above 40 Beaumur, and causes 
the scum on the pot-au-feu. 

Gelatine is also found in the bones, the soft and the 
cartilaginous parts. Its distinctive quality is to coagu- 
late at the ordinary temperature of the atmosphere ; 
to effect this only two and a half per cent, are 

Gelatine is the basis of all jelleys, of blanc manges, 
and other similar preparations. 

Grease is a concrete oil formed in the interstices of 
the cellary tissue. It sometimes agglomerates in 
animals whom art or nature has so predisposed, such 


as pigs, fowls, ortolans and snipe. In some of these 
animals it loses its insipidity and acquires a slight and 
agreeable aroma. 

Blood is composed of an albuminous serum and of 
fibrine, some gelatine and a little osmazdme. It 
coagulates in warm water and is most nourishing, 
(e. g.) the blood pudding. 

All the principles, we have passed in review, are 
common to man and to animals which feed. 

All the principles we pass in review are common 
both to man and animals which he eats. It is not 
then surprising that animal food is eminently restora- 
tive and invigorating. The particles of which it is 
composed having a great similitude with those of 
which we are formed may easily be annualized when 
they are subjected to the vital action of our digestive 


The vegetable kingdom however presents not less 
varied sources of nutrition. 

The fecula is especially nutritious, especially as it 
contains fewer foreign principles. 

By fecula we mean farina or flower obtained from 
cereals, from legumes and various kinds of roots, 
among which the potato holds a prominent place. 

The fecula is the substance of bread, pastry and 
pur&es of all kinds. It thus enters to a great degree 
into the nourishment of almost all people. 


Such food diminishes the fibres and even the cour- 
age.* We must, to sustain this, refer to the Indians 
(East) who live on rice and serve every one who choses 
to command them. 

Almost all domestic animals eat the fecula, and are 
made by it extremely strong ; for it is a more substan- 
tial nourishment than the dry and green vegetables 
which are their habitual food. 

Sugar is not less important, either as a remedy or 
as an aliment* 

This substance once obtained, either from the Indies 
or from the colonies became indigenous at the com- 
mencement of this century. It has been discovered 
in the grape, the turnip, the chestnut, and especially 
in the beet. So that speaking strictly Europe need 
appeal neither to India or America for it. Its disco- 
very was a great service rendered by science to 
humanity, and furnishes an example which cannot 
but have the happiest results. ( Vide enfro Sugar.) 

Sugar, either in a solid state or in the different 
plants in which nature has placed it, is extremely 
nourishing. Animals are fond of it, and the English 
give large quantities to their blood-horses, and have 
observed that it sustained them in the many trials to 
which they were subjected. 

* The H. E. I. Co. Sepoys, however, fight well. It may be 
doubted though if either Ireland or Italy will be free, until the 
one gives up the potato and the other macaroni. The reason 
why Irishmen fight better in other countries than their own, 
is possibly that abroad they are better fed than at home. 


Sugar in the days of Louis XIV. was only found 
in apothecary shops, and gave birth to many lucrative 
professions, such as pastry-cooks, confectioners, liquor- 

t8t8, &C. 

Mild oils also come from the vegetable kingdom. 
They are all esculent, but when mingled with other sub- 
stances they should be looked on only as a seasoning. 

Gluten found in the greatest abundance in cheese, 
contributes greatly, to the fermentation of the bread 
with which it is united. Chemists assign it an animal 

They make at Paris for children and for birds, and 
in some of the departments for men also, patisseries 
in which gluten predominates, the fecula having been 
removed by water. 

Mucilage owes its nourishments to the many sub- 
stances of which it is the vehicle. 

Gum may be considered an aliment, not a strong 
thing, as it contains Jiearly the same elements as 

Vegetable gelatine, extracted from many kinds of 
fruits, especially from apples, goose-berries, quinces, 
and some others, may also be considered a food. It 
is more nutritious when united with sugar, but it is 
far inferior in that respect to what is extracted from 
bones, horns, calves' feet and fish. This food is in 
general light, mild and healthy. The kitchen and the 
pharmaceutist's laboratory therefore dispute about it. 




Next to the juice, which, as we have said, is com- 
posed of asmaz6me and the eztractus, there are found 
in fish many substances which also exist in land ani- 
mals, such as fibrine, gelatine, albumen. So that we 
may really say juice distinguishes the flesh diet from 
what the church calls maigre. 

The latter too has another peculiarity. Fish con- 
tains a large quantity of phosphorus and hydrogen, 
that is to say of the two most combustible things in 
nature. Fish therefore is a most heating diet. This 
might legitimate the praise once bestowed on certain 
religious orders, the regime of whom was directly 
opposed to the commonly esteemed most fragile. 


I will say no more on this physiological fact, but 
will not omit an instance whid^may be easily verified. 

Some years ago I went to a country house, in the 
vicinity of Paris, and on the Seine, near St. Denis, 
near a hamlet composed chiefly of fishing huts. I 
was amazed at the crowd of huts I saw swarming in 
the road. 

I remarked it with amazement to the boatman who 
took me across the river. 

" Monsieur," said he, " we have eight families here, 
have fifty-three children, among whom are forty-nine 
girls and four boys. That one is mine." As he 


spoke he pointed triumphantly to a little whelp, of 
about five years of age, who was at the bow of the 
boat eating raw craw-fish. 

From this observation I made ten years ago, and 
others I could easily recall, I have been led to think 
that the genesiac sense is moved by fish-eating, and 
that it is rather irritating than plethoric and substan- 
tial. I am inclined to maintain this opinion the more, 
because Doctor Bailly has recently proved, by many 
instances, that when ever the number of female child- 
ren exceeds the male, the circumstance is due to some 
debilitating circumstances. This will account to us 
for the jests made from the beginning of time, when- 
ever a man's wife bears him a daughter instead of a 

I might say much about aliments considered as a 
tout ensemble, and about the various modifications they 
undergo by mixing, etc. ; I hope, though, that the 
preceding will suffice to the majority of readers. I 
recommend all others to read some book ex professo, 
and will end with the things which are not without 

The first is that animalization is affected almost as 
vegetation is, that is that the reparative current formed 
by digestion, is inhaled in various manners by the 
tubes with which the organs are provided, and becomes 
flesh, nails, hair, precisely as earth, watered by the 
same fluid, becomes radish, lettuce, potato, — as the 
gardener pleases. 


The second is that in the organization of life, the 
same elements which chemistry produces are not 
obtained. The organs destined to produce life and 
motion only act on what is subjected to them. 

Nature, however, loves to wrap herself in veils, and 
to stop us at every advance, and has concealed the 
laboratory where new transformations are affected. 
It is difficult to explain how, having determined that 
the human body contained lime, sulphur, and phos- 
phorous iron, and the other substances, all this can be 
renewed every ten years by bread and water. 




When I began to write, my table of contents was 
already prepared ; I have advanced slowly, however, 
because a portion of my time is consecrated to serious 

During this interval of time much of my matter has 
escaped my memory, or been wrested from me. Ele- 
mentary books on chemistry or materia medica have 
been put into the hands of every body, and things I 
expected to teach for the first time, have become 
popular. For instance, I had devoted many pages to 
the chemistry of the pot-au~feu, the substance of 
which is found in many books recently published. 

Consequently, I had to revise this part of my book, 
and have so condensed it that it is reduced to a few 
elementary principles, to theories which cannot be 
too widely propagated, and to sundry observations, 
the fruits of a long experience, which I trust will be 
new to the majority of my readers. 

9 * ( 101 ) 

102 . *00D. IN GERMS. 


Pot-avrfeu is a piece of beef, intended to be cooked 
in boiling water, slightly salted so as to extract all tho 
soluble parts. 

Bouillon is the fluid which remains after the ope- 

Bouilli is the flesh after it has undergone the ope- 

Water dissolves at first a portion of the osmazdme ; 
then the albumen coagulates at 50 degrees Reaumur, 
and forms the foam we see. The rest of the osma- 
zdme, -with the extractive part of juice, and finally a 
portion of the wrapping of the fibres detached by the 
continuity of ebullition. ' 

To have good bouillon, the water must be heated 
slowly, and the ebullition must be scarcely perceptible, 
so that the various particles necessarily dissolved, may 
unite ultimately and without trouble. 

It is the custom to add to bouillon, vegetable or 
roots, to enhance the taste, and bread or pates to 
make it more nourishing. Then it is what is called 

Potage is a healthy food, very nourishing, and suits 
every body; it pleases the stomach and prepares it 
for reception and digestion. Persons threatened with 
obesity should take bouillon alone. 

All agree that no where is potage made so well as 
in France, and in my travels I have been able to con- 


-firm this assertion. Potage is the basis of French 
national diet, and the experience of centuries has per- 
fected it. 


Bouilli is a healthful food, "which satisfies hunger 
readily, is easily digested, but which when eaten alone 
restores strength to a very small degree, because in 
ebullition the meat has lost much of its animalizable 

We include in four categories the persons who eat 

1. Men of routine, who eat it because their fathers 
did, and who, following this practice implicitly, expect 
to be imitated by their children. 

2. Impatient men, who, abhorring inactivity at the 
table, have contracted the habit of attacking at once 
whatever is placed before them. 

8. The inattentive, who eat whatever is put before 
them, and look upon their meals as a labor they have 
to undergo. All that will sustain them they put on 
the same level, and sit at the table as the oyster does 
in his bed. 

4. The voracious, who, gifted with an appetite which 
they seek to diminish, seek the first victim they can 
find to appease the gastric juice, which devours them, 
and wish to make it serve as a basis to the different 
envois they wish to send to the same destination. 


Professors of gastronomy never eat bouilli, from 
respect to the principles previously announced, that 
bouilli is flesh without the juioes.* 

§ni. FOWLS. 

I am very fond of second courses, and devoutly 
believe that the whole gallinaceous family was made 
to enrich our larders and to deck our tables. 

From the quail to the turkey, whenever we find a 
fowl of this class, we are sure to find too, light aliment, 
full of flavor, and just as fit for the convalescent as 
for the man of the most robust health. 

Which one of us, condemned to the fare of the 
fathers of the desert, would not have smiled at the 
idea of a well-carved chicken's wing, announcing his 
rapid rendition to civilized life ? 

We are not satisfied with the flavor nature has given 
to gallinaceous fowls, art has taken possession of 
them, and under the pretext of ameliorating, has 
made martyrs of them. They have not only been 
deprived of the means of reproduction, but they have 
been kept in solitude and darkness, and forced to eat 
until they were led to an unnatural state of fatness. 

It is very true that this unnatural grease is very 
delicious, and that this damnable skill gives them the 

* This idea which began to make its impression on bouilli 
has disappeared. It is replaced by a roasted./Sfet, a turbot, or 
9k matelote. 


fineness and succulence which are the delight of our 
best tables. 

Thus ameliorated, the fowl is to the kitchen what 
the canvass is to painters. To charlatans it is the 
cap ' of Fortunatus, and is served up boiled, roasted, 
fried, hot, cold, whole or dismembered, with or with- 
out sauce, broiled, stuffed, and always with equal 

Three portions of old France disputed for the honor 
of furnishing the best fowls, viz : Caux, Mans, and 

In relation to capons, and about this there is some 
doubt, the one on .the table always seeming the best. 
Bresse seems, however, to have pre-eminence in pul- 
lets, for they are round as an apple. It is a pity they 
are so rare in Paris ! 


The turkey is certainly one of the most glorious 
presents made by the new world to the old. 

Those persons who always wish to know more than 
others, say that the turkey was known to the ancients, 
and was served up at the wedding feast of Charle- 
magne. They , say it is an error to attribute the 
importation to the Jesuits. To these paradoxes but 
two things can be opposed : 

1st. The name of the bird proves its origin, for at 
one time America was called the West Indies. 

2d. The form of the bird is altogether foreign. 


A well informed man cannot be mistaken about it. 

Though alre&dy perfectly satisfied, I made much 
deep research in the matter. I will not inflict my 
studies on my readers, but will only give them the 
results : 

1. The turkey appeared in Europe about the end 
of the seventeenth century. 

2. That it was imported by the Jesuits who sent 
a large number especially to a farm they had near 

3. That thence they spread gradually over France, 
and in many localities a turkey to this day is called a 
Jesuit. f 

4. Only in America has the turkey been found in 
a wild state, (it is unknown in Africa.) 

5. That in the farms of North America, where it 
is very common, it has two origins, either from eggs 
which have been found and hatched or from young 
turkeys caught in the woods. The consequence is they 
are in a state of nature and preserve almost all their 
original plumage. 

Overcome by this evidence I bestow on the good 
fathers a double portion of gratitude, for they im- 
ported the Quinquina yet known as " Jesuit's bark." 

The same researches informed us that jhe turkey 
gradually became acclimated in France. Well in- 
formed observers have told me that about the middle 
of the last century of twenty young turkeys scarcely 
ten lived, while now fourteen out of every twenty 


mature. The spring rains are most unfortunate to 
them ; the large drops of rain striking on their tender 
heads destroy them. 


The turkey is the largest, and if not the finest, at 
least the most highly flavored of the gallinaceous 

It has also the advantage of collecting around it 
every class of society. 

When the virgin dresses, and farmers of our coun- 
tries wish to regale themselves in the long winter 
evenings, what do they roast before the fire of the 
room in which the table is spread ? a turkey. 

When the mechanic, when the artist, collects a few 
friends to enjoy a relief which is the more grateful 
because it is the rarer ; what is one of the dishes 
always put on the table? a turkey stuffed with 
Lyons sausage and with chestnuts of Lyons. 

In the highest gastronomical circles, in the most 
select reunions, where politics yield to dissertations on 
the taste, for what do people wait ? What do they 
wish for ? a dinde truffi at the second course. My 
secret memoirs tell me that its flavor has more than 
once lighted up most diplomatic faces. 


The importation of turkeys became the cause of a 
great addition to the public fortune, and occasioned a 
very considerable commerce. 


By raising turkeys the farmers were able the more 
surely to pay their rents. Toung girls often acquired 
a very sufficient dowry, and towns-folk who wished 
to eat them had to pay round prices for them. 

In a purely financial point of view turkeys demand 
much attention. 

I have reason to believe, that between the first of 
November and the end of February, three hundred 
dindon truffees are consumed per diem. The sum 
total is 30,000 turkeys. 

The price of every turkey in that condition is at 
least twenty francs, and the sum of the whole is not 
less than 720,000 francs — a very pretty sum of money. 
One must add a similar sum for the fowls, pheasants, 
pullets and partridges, suffered in the same way, and 
which are every day exhibited in the provision shops, 
as a punishment for beholders who are too poor to 
buy them. 


While I was living at Hartford, in Connecticut, I 
was lucky enough to kill a wild turkey. This exploit 
deserves to be transmitted to posterity, and I tell it 
with especial complaisance as I am myself the hero. 

An American farmer had invited me to hunt on his 
grounds ; he lived in the remotest part of the State,* 

* Brillat-Savarin uses the French words "derrieres de 
Vetcrt' and translates them in English, in parenthesis " Back- 


and promised me partridges, grey squirrels and wild 
turkeys.* He also permitted me to bring a friend or 
two if I pleased. 

One fine day in October, 1794, therefore, with a 
friend, I set out with the hope of reaching the farm 
of Mr. Bulow, five mortal leagues from Hartford, 
before night. 

Though the road was hardly traced, we arrived 
there without accident, and were received with that 
cordial hospitality expressed by acts, for before we 
had been five minutes on the farm, dogs, horses and 
men were all suitably taken care of. 

About two hours were consumed in the examination 
of the farm and its dependencies. I would describe 
all this if I did not prefer to display to the reader 
the four buxom daughters of Mr. Bulow, to whom 
our arrival was a great event. 

Their ages were from sixteen to twenty-four, and 
there was so much simplicity in their persons, so 
much activity and abandon, that every motion seemed 
full of grace. 

After our return from walking we' sat around a 
well furnished table. A superb piece of corned beef, 
a stewed goose, and a magnificent leg of mutton, 
besides an abundance of vegetables and two large 
jugs of cider, one at each end of the table, made up 
our bill of fare. 

* He also translates in the same manner " dindes eauvages" 

welp cocks. 



When we had proven to our host, that in appetite 
at least, we were true huntsmen, we began to make 
arrangements for our sport. He told us where we 
would find game, and gave us land-marks to guide us 
on our return, not forgetting farm-houses where we 
could obtain refreshments. 

During this conversation the ladies had prepared 
excellent tea, of which we drank several cups, and 
were then shown into a room with two beds, where 
exercise and fatigue procured us a sound sleep. 

On the next day we set out rather late, and having 
come to the end of the clearings made by Mr. Bulow, 
I found myself in a virgin forest for the first time. 
The sound of the axe had never been heard there. . 

I walked about with delight, observing the 
blessings and ravages of time which creates and 
destroys, and I amused myself by tracing all the 
periods on the life of an oak since the moment when 
its two leaves start from the ground, until it leaves 
but a long black mark which is the dust of its heart. 

My companion, Mr. King, reproached me for my 
moodiness, and we began the hunt. We killed first 
some of those pretty grey partridges which are so 
round and so tender. We then knocked down six or 
seven grey squirrels, highly esteemed in America, 
and at last were fortunate enough to find a flock of 

They rose one after the other, flying rapidly and 
crying loudly. Mr. King fired on the first and ran 


after it. The others were soon out of shot. The 
most sluggish of all arose at last, not ten paces from 
me. It flew through an opening, I fired and it fell 

One must be a sportsman to conceive the extreme 
pleasure this shot caused me. I siezed on the superb 
bird and turned it over and over for a quarter of an 
hour, until I heard my companion's voice calling for 
assistance. I hurried to him and found that he called 
me to aid him in looking for a turkey he claimed to 
have killed, but which had disappeared. 

I put my dog, on the scent but he led us into an 
under growth, so thick and thorny that a snake could 
scarcely penetrate it; I had then to give up the 
search, and my companion was in a bad humor all 
day long. 

The rest of the day scarcely deserves the honors 
of printing. On our return we lost ourselves in 
boundless woods, and we were in not a little danger 
of having to stay out all night, when the silvery tones 
of Mr. Bulow's daughters, and the deep bass of their 
father, who had come to look for us, guided us home. 
The four sisters were fully armed with clean 
dresses, new ribbons, pretty hats, and so carefully 
shod that it was evident that they had formed a high 
opinion of us. I tried to make myself agreeable to 
the one of the ladies who took my arm, a thing she 
did as naturally as if it had belonged to her jure con- 


When we reached the farm supper was ready, but 
before we sat down to the table we drew near to a 
bright and brilliant fire which had been lighted for 
us, though the season did not indicate that such a 
precaution was necessary. We found it very com- 
fortable, fatigued as we were, and were rested as if 
by enchantment. 

This custom doubtless comes from the Indians who 
always have a fire in their huts. It may be, this is a 
tradition of St. Francis de Sales, who said that fire 
was good eleven months of the year (non liquet). 

We ate as if we were famished ; a large bowl of 
punch enabled us to finish the evening, and a conver- 
sation, which our host made perfectly free, led us far 
into the night. 

We spoke of the war of Independence, in which 
Mr. Bulow* had served as a field officer of M. de 
La Fayette, who every day becomes greater in the 
eyes of the Americans, who always designate him as 
" the Marquis'*' of agriculture,' which at that time 
enriched the United States, and finally of my native 
land, which I loved the more because I was forced to 
leave it. 

When wearied of conversation the father would 
6ay to his eldest daughter, "Maria, give us* a song/' 
She without any embarrassment sung the American 

* The M. Bulow of whom Savarin speaks, is none other 
than Lieut. Col, Bellows of the Connecticut Line, many of 
whose relations yet remain in the Valley of the Connecticut. 


national airs. The complaints of Mary Stuart and 
of Andre*, all popular in America. Maria had taken 
a few lessons, and in that remote country passed 
for a virtuosa ; her singing though, derived its charm 
from the quality of her voice, which was at once clear, 
fresh and accentuated. 

On the next day, in spite of Mr. Bulow's persua- 
sions, we set out. I had duties to discharge; and 
while the horses were being prepared, Mr. Bulow took 
me aside and used these remarkable words. 

"You see in me, sir, a happy man, if there be one 
under heaven ; all that you see here is derived from 
my own property. My stockings were knit by my 
daughters, and my cloths were furnished by my flocks. 
They also, with my garden, furnish me with an 
abundance of healthy food. The greatest eulogium 
of our government is, that in the State of Connec- 
ticut there are a thousand farmers as well satisfied as 
I am, the doors of whom have no locks. 

" Taxes are almost nothing, and as long as they be 
paid any one can sleep calmly. Congress favors 
national industry as much as it can, and merchants 
are always ready to take from us whatever we wish to 
sell. I have ready money for a long time, for I have 
just sold at twenty-four dollars a barrel, flour I usually 
receive eight for. 

"All this is derived from the liberty we have 
acquired, and established on good laws. I am master 
of my own house; and you will not be astonished when 


you know that we never fear the sound of the drum, 
and, except on the 4th of July, the glorious anniver- 
sary of our Independence, neither soldiers, uniforms, 
nor bayonets are seen." 

On my way back I seemed absorbed by profound 
reflection. Perhaps the reader may think I mused 
on my host's parting words ; I had very different 
thoughts, however, for I was studying how I should 
cook my turkey. I was in some trouble, for I feared 
I would not find all I needed at Hartford, and wished 
to make a trophy of my spoida opima. 

I make a painful sacrifice in suppressing the details 
of the profound science I exhibited in the preparation 
of an entertainment, to which I invited several friends. 
Suffice it to say that the partridge wings were served 
en papillote, and the grey squirrels stewed in madeira. 

The turkey, which was our only roast dish, was 
charming to the sight, flattering to the sense of smell, 
and delicious to taste. Therefore, until the last frag- 
ment was eaten, there were heard around the table, 
"Very good;" "Exceedingly good;" "Dear sir; 
what a nice piece."* 

* The flesh of the wild turkey is more highly colored and 
more perfumed than the domestic fowl. 

I am glad to learn that my amiable colleague, 3Vf . Bosc, had 
killed many in Carolina, which he found excellent, and far 
better than those in Europe. He therefore recommends that 
they be allowed the largest liberty, that they be driren into 
the woods and, fields, to enhance the flavor and bring it as 


§V. (IAMB. 

By game we mean all wild -animals which are fit to 
eat, and live in a state of natural liberty. 

We say fit to eat, because many animals which are 
in a state of nature are not fit to eat. Such as foxes, 
crows, pies, wild-cats, etc. They are called in French 
Betes puantes vermin. 

Game is divided into three series. 

The first contains all birds, from the grive to the 
smallest of the feathered ^tribe. 

The second ascends from the rail to the snipe, part- 
ridge, and pheasant, including the rabbit and the hare ; 
it is divided into three categories, of the marsh, hairy, 
and feathered. 

The third, which bears the name of venison, is com- 
posed of the wild-boar, kid, and all other horny-footed 

Game is one of the great luxuries of our tables ; it 
is a healthy, warm, highly-flavored and high tasted 
flesh, easily digested, whenever one is hungry. 

These qualities, however, are not so inherent as not 
to a certain degree to depend on the skill of the cook. 
Put some water, salt and beef into a pot, and you can 
obtain from them a very good soup. Substitute venison 
for the beef, and the result will not be fit to eat. 
Butcher's meat, in this respect, has the advantage. 

nearly as possible back to the original species. — Annate* 
d y Agriculture cah. du 28 Fevr. 1821. 


Under the manipulation, however, of a skilful cook, 
game undergoes various modifications and transforma- 
tions, and furnishes the greater portions of the dishes 
of the transcendental kitchen. 

Game derives, also, a great portion of its value from 
the soil on which it is fed. The taste of a Perigord 
partridge is very different from that of one from 
Sologne, and the hare killed in the vicinity of Paris 
is a very different dish from one shot on the hills of 
Valromey or upper Dauphiny. The latter is probably 
the most perfumed of all beaets. 

Among small birds, beyond all doubt, the best is 
the " beccafico" 

It becomes at least as fat as the red-throat or the 
ortolan, and nature has besides given it a slight bit- 
terness, and a peculiar and exquisite perfume, which 
enables it to fill and delight all the gustatory organs. 
Were the beccafico as large as a pheasant, an acre of 
land would be paid for it. 

It is a pity this bird is so rare, that few others than 
those who live in the southern departments of France, 
know what it is.* 

Few people know how to eat small birds. The fol- 
lowing method was imparted confidentially to me by 
the Canon Charcot, a gourmand by profession, and a 
perfect gastronome, thirty years before the word gas- 
tronomy was invented : 

* I am inclined to think the bird is utterly unknown in 
America. — Translator. 


Take a very fat bird by the bill and sprinkle it with 
Balt 9 take out the entraiUes, I mean gizzard, liver, 
etc., and put it whole in your mouth. Chew it quickly, 
and the result will be a juice abundant enough to per- 
meate the whole organ. You will then enjoy a plea- 
sure unknown to the vulgar. 

" Odi profanum vulgus et arceo." 


The quail, of all game properly so-called, is the 
nicest and the most pleasant. A very fat quail is 
pleasant both to eat, see, and smell. Whenever it is 
either roasted, or served en papillote, a great folly' is 
committed, because its perfume is very volatile, and 
when ever in contact with a liquid, its flavor is dis- 
solved and lost. 

The snipe is a charming bird, but few people know 
all its charms. It is in its glory only when it has 
been cooked under the huntsman's eyes; and the 
huntsman must have killed it. Then the roast is per- 
fected according to rule, and the mouth is inundated 
with pleasure. 

Above the preceding, «and above . all others, the 
pheasant should be placed. Few mortals, however, 
know exactly how to cook it. 

A pheasant eaten only a week after its death is not 
good as a partridge or a pullet, for its merit consists 
in its aroma. 

Science has considered the expansion of this aroma, 


experience has utilised science, so that a pheasant 
ready for the spit is a dish fit for the most exalted 

In the varieties will be found a recipe for roastirig 
a pheasant, a la Sainte Alliance. The time has come 
when this method, hitherto concentrated in a small 
circle of friends, should be made known for the benefit 
of humanity. A pheasant with truffles is not good 
as one would be apt to think it. The bird is too dry 
to actuate the tubercle, and the scent of the one and 
the perfume of the other when united neutralize each 
other — or rather do not suit. 

§ VI. SISH. 

Savants, in other respects orthodox, have main- 
tained that ocean was the common cradle of all that 
exists, and that man himself sprang from the sea and 
owes his actual habits to the influence of the air, and 
the mode of life he has been obliged to adopt. 

Be this as it may, it is at least certain, that the 
waters contain an immense quantity of beings of all 
forms and sizes, which possess vitality in very different 
proportions, and according to mode very different 
from that of warm blooded animals. 

It is not less true that water has ever presented an 
immmense variety of aliments, and that in the present 
state of science it introduces to our table the most 
agreeable variety. 

Fish, less nutritious than flesh and more succulent 


than vegetables, is a mezzo termine, which suits all 
temperments and which persons recovering from 
illness may safely eat. 

The Greeks and Romans, though they had not 
made as much progress as we have in the art of 
seasoning fish, esteemed it very highly, and were so 
delicate that they could even tell where it had been 

Large fish ponds were mantained, and the cruelty 
of Vellius Pollis who fed his lampreys on the bodies 
of slaves he caused to be slain is well known. This 
cruelty Domitian disapproved of but should have 

There has been much discussion as to which is the 
best fish. 

The question will never be decided, for as the 
Spanish proverb says, sobre hs gustos, no hai dispute. 
Every one is effected in his own way. These fugitive 
sensations can be expressed by no known character, 
and there is no scale to measure if a cat-Jish(l) y a sole, 
or a turbot are better than a salmon, trout, pike, or 
even tench of six or seven pounds. 

It is well understood that fish is less nourishing 
than meat, because it contains no osmazdme, because 
it is lighter in weight, and contains less weight in the 
same volume. Shell-fish, and especially oysters, 
furnish little nutrition, so that one can eat a great 
many without injury. 

It will be remembered that not long ago any well 


arranged entertainment began with oysters, and that 
many guests never paused without swallowing a gross 
(144). I was anxious to know the weight of this 
advance guard, and I ascertained that a dozen oysters, 
fluid included, weighed four ounces averdupois. Now 
I look on it as certain that the same persons who did 
not make a whit the worse dinner, on account of the 
oysters would have been completely satisfied if they 
had eaten the same weight of flesh or of chicken. 


In 1798 I was at Versailles as a commissary of the 
Directory, and frequently met M. Laperte, greffier of 
the count of the department. He was very fond of 
oysters, and used to complain that he had never had 

I resolved to procure him this satisfaction, and 
invited him to dine with me on the next day. 

He came. I kept company with him to the tenth 
dozen, after which I let him go on alone. He man- 
aged to eat thirty-two dozen within an hour, for the 
person who opened them was not very skilful. 

In the interim, I was idle, and as that is always a 
painful state at the table, I stopped him at the mo- 
ment when he was in full swing. " Mon cher," said 
I, " you will not to-day eat as many oysters as you 
meant — let us dine. We did so, and he acted as if he 
had fasted for a week. 



The ancients extracted from fish two highly flavored 
seasonings, muria and garum. 

The first was the juice of the thuny, or to speak 
more precisely, the liquid substance which salt causes 
to flow from the fish. 

Garum was dearer, and we know much less of it. 
It is thought that it was extracted by pressure from 
the entrailles of the scombra or mackerel ; but this 
supposition does not account for its high price. There 
is reason to believe it was a foreign sauce, and was 
nothing else but the Indian soy, which we know to be 
only fish fermented with mushrooms. 

Certainly, people from their locality are forced to 
live almost entirely upon fish. They also feed their 
Working animals with it, and the latter from custom 
gradually grow to like this strange food. They also 
manure the soil with it, yet always receive the same 
quantity from the sea which surrounds them. 

It has been observed that such nations are not so 
courageous as those that eat flesh. They are pale, 
a thing not surprising, for the elements of fish must 
rather repair the lymph than the blood. 

Among ichthyopJiageSy remarkable instances of lon- 
gevity are observed, either because light food pre- 
serves them from plethora, or that the juices it con* 
tains being formed by nature only to constitute 
cartilages which never bears long duration, their use 



retards the solidification of the parts of the body 
which, after all, is the cause of death. 

Be this as it may, fish in the hands of a skilful cook 
is an inexhaustible source of enjoyment. It is served 
up whole, in pieces, truncated with water, oil, vinegar, 
warm, cold ; -and is always well received. It is, how* 
ever never better than when dressed en matilotte. 

This ragout, though made a necessary dish to the 
boatmen on our rivers, and made in perfection only 
by the keepers of cobarets on their banks, is incom- 
parably good. Lovers of fish never see it without 
expressing their gratification, either on account of its 
freshness of taste, or because they can without diffi- 
culty eat an indefinite quantity, without any fear of 
satiety or indigestion. 

Analytical gastronomy has sought to ascertain what 
are the effects of a fish diet on the animal system. 
Unanimous observation leads us to think that it has 
great influence on the genesiac sense, and awakens the 
instinct of reproduction in the two sexes. 

This effect being once known, two causes were at 
once assigned for it : 

1st. The different manner of preparing fish, all the 
seasoning for it being irritating, such as carar, her- 
ing, than marine, etc. 

2d. The various juices the fish imbibes, which are 
highly inflammable and oxigenise in digestion. 

Profound analysis has discovered a yet more power- 


ful cause : the presence of phosphorous in all the por- 
tions, and which decomposition soon developes. 

These physical truths were doubtless unknown to 
the ecclesiastical legislators, who imposed the lenten 
diet on different communities of monks, such as Char- 
treux, Recollets, Trappists, and the Carmelites 
reformed by Saint Theresa ; no one thinks that they 
wished to throw a new difficulty into the way of the 
observance of the already most anti-social vow of 

In this state of affairs, beyond doubt, glorious vic- 
tories were won, and rebellious senses were subjected ; 
there were, however, many lapses and defeats. They 
must have been well averred, for the result was the 
religious orders had ultimately a reputation like that 
of Hercules and the daughters of Danaus, or Marshal 
Saxe with M'lle Lecouvreur. 

They might also have been delighted by an anec- 
dote, so old as to date from the crusades. 

Sultan Saladin being anxious to measure the conti- 
nence of devises, took two into his palace, and for a 
long time fed them on the most succulent food. 

Soon all traces of fasting began to disappear, and 
they reached a very comfortable embonpoint At 
that time they were given as companions two 
odalisques of great beauty, all of whose well-directed 
attacks failed, and they came from the ordeal pure as 
the diamond of Visapor. 

The Sultan kept them in his palace, and to celebrate 


their triumph fed them for several weeks on fish 

After a few days they were again submitted to the 
ordeal of the odalisques, and 

In the present state of our knowledge, it is proba- 
ble that if the course of events were to establish any 
monastic order, the superiors would adopt some 
regimen better calculated to maintain its objects* 


Fish, considered in general, is an inexhaustible 
source of reflection to the philosopher. 

The varied forms of these strange animals,, the 
senses they are deprived of, and the limited nature of 
those they have, their various modes of existence, the 
influence exerted over them by the medium in which 
they live, move, and breathe, extend the range of our 
ideas and the indefinite modifications which result 
from their nature, motions and lives. 

For my part, I entertain to them a sentiment very 
like respect, resulting from my belief that they belong 
to antediluvian races. The great convulsion which 
doomed our ancestors, in the eighteenth century of 
the world, to fish was a season of joy, triumph and 


Who ever says truffle, pronounces a great word, 
which awakens eratic and gourmand ideas both in the 


sex dressed in petticoats and in the bearded portion 
of humanity. 

This honorable duplication results from the fact 
that the tubercle is not only delicious to the taste, but 
that it excites a power the exercise of which is accom- 
panied by the most delicious pleasures. 

The origin of the truffle is unknown; they are 
found, but none know how they vegetate. The most 
learned men have sought to ascertain the secret, and 
fancied they discovered the seed. Their promises, 
however, were vain, and no planting was ever followed 
by a harvest. This perhaps is all right, for as one 
of the great values of truffles is their dearness, per- 
haps they would be less highly esteemed if they were 

" Rejoice, my friend," said I, " a superb lace is 
about to be manufactured at a very low price." 

" Ah !" replied she, " think you, if it be cheap, that 
any one would wear it ?" 


The Romans were well acquainted with the truffle, 
but I do not think they were acquainted with the 
French variety. Those which were their delight were 
obtained from Greece and Africa, and especially 
from Libia. The substance was pale, tinged with 
rose, and the Libian truffles were sought for as being 
far the most delicate and highly perfumed. 

" Gustus elexnenta per omnia quarunt." 



From the Romans to our own time, there was a 
long interregnum, and the resurrection of truffles is an 
event of recent occurrence. I have read many old 
books, in which there is! no allusion to them. The 
generation for which I write may almost be said to 
witness its resurrection. 

About 1780 truffles were very rare in Paris, and 
they were to be had only in small quantities at the 
Hotel des American*, and at the Hotel de Province. 
A dindon trufiee was a luxury only seen at the tables 
of great nobles and of kept women. 

• We owe their abundance to dealers in comestibles, 
the number of whom has greatly increased, and who, 
seeing that their merchandise was popular, had it 
sought for throughout the kingdom. Sending for it 
by either the mail or by couriers, they made its search 
general. As truffles cannot be planted, careful search 
alone can obtain it. 

At the time I write (1825) the glory of the truffle is 
at its apogee. Let no one ever confess that he dined 
where truffles were not. However good any entrfee 
may be, it seems bad unless enriched by truffles. Who 
has not felt his mouth water when any allusion was 
made to truffles a la provingale. 

A sautfe of truffles is a dish the honors of which the 

mistress of the house reserves to herself ; in fine, the 

truffle is the diamond of the kitchen. 

I I sought the reason of this preference ; it seemed 

to me that many other substances had an equal right 


*00D IN GERMS. 127 

to the honor, and I became satisfied that the cause 
was that the truffle was supposed to excite the gene* 
siac sense. This I am sure is the chief quality of its 
perfection, and the predilection and preference evinced 
for it, so powerful is our servitude to this tyrannical 
and capricious sense. 

This discovery led me to seek to ascertain if the 
effect were real or imaginary. 

[The Translator here has thought it best to omit a very 
broad dialogue, which Brillat-Savarin introduced into his 

I mado ulterior researches, col- 
lected my ideas, and consulted the men who were 
most likely to know, with all of whom I was intimate. 
I united them into a tribunal, a senate, a sanhedrim, 
an areopagus, and we gave the following decision to 
be commented upon by the litterateurs of the twenty- 
eighth century. 

" The truffle is a positive aphrodisiac, and under 
certain circumstances makes women kinder, and men 
more amiable/' 

In Piedmont white truffles are met with, which are 
very highly esteemed. They have a slight flavor, not 
injurious to their perfection, because it gives no disa- 
greable return* 

The best truffles of France come from Pferigord, 
and upper Provence. About the month of January 
they have their highest perfume. 


Those from Bugey also have a high flavor, but can 
not be preserved. 

Those of Burgundy and Dauphiny are of inferior 
quality. They are hard, and are deficient in farina- 
cious matter. Thus, there are many kinds of truffles. 

To find truffles, dogs and hogs are used, that have 
been trained to the purpose. There are men, how- 
ever, with such practised eyes that by the inspection 
of the soil they can say whether it contains truffles or 
not, and what is their quality. 


We have only to ascertain if the truffle be indiges- 
tible or not. 
We say no. 
This decision is ex cathedra, and well sustained. 

1. By the nature of the substance. The truffle is 
easily masticated, is light, and has nothing hard nor 
cartilaginous in its composition. 

2. During our observations for fifty years, we have 
never known any indigestion to result from truffles.* 

3. The attestation of the most eminent of the 
faculty of Paris, a city eminently gourmande and 
trufflivorous, sustains this idea. 

4. From the daily conduct of the doctors of the law, 
who, coeteris paribus, consume more truffles than any 

* The translator has known several such indigestions. He 
once nearly became a martyr to a galatine de Perdrix truffee, 
at the restaurant of the late M. Dandurand. 


other class of citizens. Doctor Malonet used to eat 
enough to give an elephant the indigestion. He how- 
ever lived to be eighty-six. 

We may therefore look on it as certain, that the 
truffle is a food healthy as it is agreeable, and that 
when taken in moderation it passes through the sys- 
tem as a letter does through the post office. 

One may easily be indisposed after a great dinner, 
where other things than truffles have been eaten; 
such accidents, however, only happen to those who, 
after the first service, were already stuffed like canons, 
and who failed in the second, leaving the luxuries 
offered them untouched. 

This is not then the fault of truffles, and we may 
be sure they had swallowed so many glasses of pure 
water or eaten the same number of potatoes. 

Let us conclude by a circumstance which shows 
how easily we may be mistaken without careful obser- 

One day I invited Mr. S , a very pleasant old 

man, to dine with me. He was also a gourmand of the 
highest grade. Either because I knew his tastes, or 
to satisfy all my guests that I wished to make them 
happy, I was not sparing in truffles, and they appeared 
under the egis of young turkeys most carefully stuffed. 

Mr. S ate with energy, and as I knew he could 

not injure himself I left him alone, persuading him 
not to hurry himself because no one would attack the 
property he had acquired. 


All passed off very well, and we separated at a 
very late hour. When we reached home, however, 
Mr. S was attacked by a violent cholic, a dispo- 
sition to vomit, convulsive cramp, and general indis- 

This state of things lasted some time, and all said 
he suffered from the indigestion caused by truffles ; at 

last nature came to the patient's aid, and Mr. S 

opened his mouth and threw up a single truffle, which 
struck the wall and rebounded, luckily without injury 
to the by-standers. 

All unpleasant symptoms at once disappeared, tran- 
quility was restored, digestion recommenced its course, 
the patient went to sleep and awoke in the morning 
perfectly well. 

The cause was easily understood, Mr. S had 

been eating a long time, and his teeth were unable to 
sustain the labor imposed on them. He had lost 
many of those precious members, and those he had 
left did not always meet together. 

A truffle had thus escaped mastication, and almost 
whole had been swallowed. Digestion had carried it 
to the pylorus where it was momentarily detained, 
and this mechanical detention had caused all his 
trouble, as expulsion had cured it. 

Thus there was no indigestion, but merely the inter- 
position of a foreign body. 

This was decided on by the consulting body, which 


saw the carpus delicti, and which selected me as its 

Mr. S did not on this account remain a whit 

less fond of truffles. He always attacked them with 
the same audacity, but was very careful to swallow 
them with more prudence. He used to thank God 
that this sanitary precaution had prolonged his life 
and his enjoyments. 

§vni. SUGAE. 

In the present state of science we understand by 
sugar a substance mild to the taste, crystalizable, and 
which by fermentation resolves itself into carbonic 
acid and alcohol. 

By sugar once was understood only the crystalized 
juice of the cane, (arundo saccharifera.) 

A few pages of old authors would induce us to 
think the ancients had observed in certain arundines 
a sweet and extractible portion. Lucanus says : 

" Qui bibunt tenera dulces ab arundine succos." 

Between water sweetened by the juice of the cane, 
and the sugar we have, there is a great difference. Art 
in Rome was not far enough advanced to accomplish it. 

Sugar really originated in the colonies of the New 
World. The cane Was imported thither two centuries 
ago and prospered, and efforts was made to utilize the 
juice which flowed from it, and by gradual experi- 
ments they accomplished the manufacture of all the 
variety of its productions we know of. 


The culture of the sugar cane has become an object 
of the greatest importance ; it is a great source of 
wealth both to the cultivators and the vendors, and 
also to the taxes of governments who levy an import 
on it 


It has long been thought that tropical heat was not 
needed to form sugar. About 1740 MorgrofF disco- 
vered that many plants of the temperate zones, and 
among others the beet contained it. 

Towards the beginning of the nineteenth century, 
circumstances having made sugar scarce, and conse- 
quently dear, the government made it an object for 
savants to look for it. 

The idea was successful, and it was ascertained that 
sugar was found in the whole vegetable kingdom ; that 
it existed in the grape, chestnut, potato, and in the 
beet especially. 

This last plant became an object of the greatest 
culture, and many experiments proved that in this 
respect, the old world could do without the new. 
France was covered with manufactories, which worked 
with different success, and the manufacture of sugar 
became naturalized; the art was a new one which 
may any day be recalled. 

Among the various manufactories, the most promi- 
nent was that established at Passy, near Paris, by Mr. 

FOOD IN GliiAMS. 188 

Benjamin Delassert, a citizen, the name of whom is 
always connected with the good and useful. 

By means of a series of extensive operations, he got 
rid of all that was doubtful in the practice, and made 
no mystery of his plan of procedure, even to those 
who were his rivals. He was visited by the head of 
the government, and was ordered to furnish all that 
was needed at the Tuilleries. 

New circumstances, the restoration of peace, having 
again reduced colonial sugar to a lower price, the 
French manufacturers lost the advantages they had 
gained. Many, however, yet prosper, and Delassert 
makes some thousands every year. This also enables 
him to preserve his processes until the time comes 
when they may again be useful.* 

When beet sugar was in the market, party men, 
up-starts and fools, took it into their heads that its 
flavor was unpleasant, and some even said it w»s 

Many experiments have proved the contrary, and 
the Count de Chaptal, in his excellent book, " Ohem- 

* We may add, that at the session for the general encou- 
ragement of national industry, a medal was ordered to be pre- 
sented to M. Crespel, a manufacturer of arms, who manufac- 
tures every year one hundred and fifty thousand pounds of 
beet sugar, which he sells at a profit, even when Colonial 
sugar is 2 francs 50 centimes the kilogramme. The reason is, 
that the refuse is used for distillation, and subsequently fed 
out to cattle. 



istry Applied to Agriculture," (vol. ii. page 13,) 
says: ' 

" Sugars obtained from various plants, saya a cele- 
brated chemist, are in fact of the same nature, and 
have no intrinsic difference when they are equally 
pure. Taste, crystalization, color, weight, are abso- 
lutely identical, and the most acute observer cannot 
distinguish the one from the other." 

An idea of the force of "prejudice is afforded by the 
fact, that out of one hundred British subjects, taken 
at random, not ten believe in the possibility of obtain- 
ing sugar from the beet. 


Sugar was introduced by the apothecaries. With 
them' it was a most important article, for when a per- 
son was greatly in want of any article, there was a 
proverb, " Like an apothecary without sugar. 11 

To say that it came thence, is to say that it was 
received with disfavor ; some said that it was heating, 
others that it injured the chest ; some that it disposed 
persons to apoplexy. Calumny, however, had to 
give way to truth, and for eighty years this apothegm 
has been current, "Sugar hurts nothing but the 

Under this impenetrable SBgis the use of sugar has 
increased every day, and no alimentary substance has 
undergone so many transformations. 


Many persons like sugar in a pure state, and in 
hopeless cases the faculty recommend it as a substance 
which can do no possible harm, and which is not 

Mixed with water, it gives us eau sucree, a refresh- 
ing drink, which is healthful, agreeable, and some- 
times salutary. 

Mingled in large quantities with water it consti- 
tutes strops, which are perfumed, and from their 
variety are most refreshing. 

Mingled with water, the caloric of which is artifi- 
cially extracted, it furnishes two kinds, which are of 
Italian origin, and were introduced into France by 
Catharine de Medici. 

With wine it furnishes such a restorative power that 
in some countries roasted meats taken to the bride and 
groom are covered with it, just as in Persia soused 
sheeps' feet are given them. 

Mingled with flour and eggs, it furnishes biscuits, 
maccarbnies, etc., etc., ad infinitum. 

With milk it unites in the composition of creams, 
blanc-mangers and other dishes of the second course, 
substituting for the substantial taste of meat, ethereal 

It causes the aroma of coffee to be exhaled. 

Mingled with cafe au lait, a light, pleasant aliment 
is produced, precisely suited to those who have to go to 
their offices immediately after breakfast. 

With fruits and flowers it contributes to furnish con- 


fitures, marmalades, preserves, pates and candies, and 
enables us to enjoy the perfume of those flowers long 
after they have withered. 

It may be that sugar might be advantageously 
employed in embalming, an art of which we know 

Sugar mingled with alcohol furnishes spirituous 
liquors, such as were used, it is said, to warm the old 
blood of Louis XIV., which, by their energy, seized 
the palate and the taste by the perfumed gas united 
to them, the two qualities forming the ne plus ultra 
of the pleasures of the taste. 

Such is the substance which the French of the time 
of Louis XIII. scarcely knew the name of, and which 
to the people of the nineteenth century is become so 
important ; no woman, in easy circumstances, spends 
as much money for bread as she does for sugar. 

M. Delacroix, a man of letters, who is as industri- 
ous as he is profound, was one day complaining of the 
price of sugar, which then cost five francs a pound, 
" Ah !" said he, " if sugar should ever again be thirty 
sous a pound, I will drink nothing but eau 9ucr$e" 
His wishes were granted ; he yet lives, and I trust he 
keeps his word. 


The first coffee tree was found in Arabia, and in 
spite of the various transplantations it has undergone, 
the best coffee is yet obtained there. , 


An old tradition states that coffee was discovered 
by a shepherd of old, who saw that his flock was 
always in the greatest state of excitement and hilarity 
when they browsed on the leaves of the coffee tree. 

Though this may be but an old story, the honor of 
the discovery belongs only in part to the goat-herd. 
The rest belongs to him who first made use of the 
bean, and boiled it. 

A mere decoction of green coffee is a most insipid 
drink, but carbonization develops the aroma and forms 
an oil which is the peculiarity of the coffee we drink, 
and which would have been eternally unknown but 
For the intervention of heat. 

The Turks excel us in this. They employ no mill 
. A to t^urate the coffee, but beat it with wooden pestles 
in mortars. When the pestles have been long used, 
they become precious and are sold at great prices. 

I had to examine and determine whether in the 
result one or the other of the two methods be pre- 

Consequently, I burned carefully a pound of good 
mocha, and separated it into two equal portions, the 
one of which was passed through the mill, and the 
other beaten Turkish fashion in a mortar. 

I made coffee of each, taking equal weights of each, 
poured on an equal weight of boiling water and treated 
them both precisely alike. 

I tasted this coffee myself, and caused others who 
were competent judges to do so. • The unanimous 


opinion was that coffee which had been beaten in a 
mortar was far better than that which had been 

Any one may repeat the experiment. In the inte- 
rim I will tell you a strange anecdote of the influence 
of one or the other kind of manipulation. 

" Monsieur," said Napoleon, one day to Laplace, 
" how comes it that a glass of water into which I put 
a lump of loaf sugar tastes more pleasantly than if I 
had put in the same quantity of crushed sugar." 
" Sire," said the philosophic Senator, " there are three 
substances the constituents of which are identical — 
Sugar, gum and amidon ; they differ only in certain 
conditions, the secret of which nature has preserved. 
I think it possible that in the effect produced by the 
pestle some saccharine particles become either gum or 
amidon, and cause the difference." 

This remark became public, and ulterior observa- 
tions has confirmed it. 


Some years ago all directed their attention to the 
mode of preparing coffee ; the reason ^doubtless was 
that the head of the government was fond of it. 

Some proposed not to burn nor to powder it, to boil 
it three quarters of an hour, to strain it, &c. 

I have tried this and all the methods which have 
been suggested from day to day, and prefer that 
known as a la Dubelloy, which consists in pouring 


boiling water on coffee placed in a porcelain or silver 
vessel pierced with a number of very minute holes. 
This first decoction should be taken and brought to 
the boiling point, then passed through the . strainer 
again, and a coffee will be obtained clear and strong 
as possible. 

I have also tried to make coffee in a high pressure 
boiling apparatus ; all I obtained however was a fluid 
intensely bitter, and strong enough to take the skin 
from the throat of a Cossack. 


Doctors have differed in relation to the sanitary 
properties of coffee. We will omit all this, and 
devote ourselves to the more important point, its 
influence on the organs of thought. 

There is no doubt but that coffee greatly excites 
the cerebral faculties. Any man who drinks it for 
the first time is almost sure to pass a sleepless night. 

Sometimes the effect is softened or modified by 
custom, but there are many persons on whom it always 
produces this effect, and who consequently cannot use 

I have said that the effect was modified by use, a 
circumstance which does not prevent its having effect 
in another manner. I have observed persons whom 
coffee did not prevent from sleeping at night, need it 
to keep them awake during the day, and never failed 
to slumber when they had taken it for dinner. 


There are others who are torpid all day when they 
have not taken their cup in the morning. 

Voltaire and Buffon used a great deal of coffee. 
Perchance the latter was indebted to it for the admi- 
rable clearness we observe in his works, and the 
second for the harmonious enthusiasm of his style. 
It is evident that many pages of the treatise on man, 
the dog, the tiger, lion and horse, were written under 
a strange cerebral excitement. 

The loss of sleep caused by coffee is not painful, 
for the perceptions are very clear, and one has no 
disposition to sleep. One is always excited and 
unhappy when wakefulness comes from any other 
cause. This, however, does prevent such an excite- 
ment, when carried too far, from being very injurious. 

Formerly only persons of mature age took coffee. 
Now every one takes it, and perhaps it is the taste 
which forces onward the immense crowd that besiege 
all the avenues of the Olympus, and of the temple of 

The Cordwainer, author of the tragedy of Zenobia, 
which all Paris heard read a few years ago, drank 
much coffee ; for that reason he excelled the cabinet- 
maker of Nevers, who was but a drunkard. 

Coffee is a more powerful fluid than people gene- 
rally think. A man in good health may drink two 
bottles of wine a day for a long time, and sustain 
his strength. If he drank that quantity of coffee he 
would becoine imbecile and die of consumption. 


I saw at Leicester square, in London, a man whom 
coffee had made a cripple. He had ceased to suffer, 
and then drank but six cups a day. 

All fathers and mothers should make their children 
abstain from coffee, if they do not wish them at 
twenty to be puny dried up machines. People in large 
cities should pay especial attention to this, as their 
children have no exaggeration of strength and health, 
and are not so hearty as those born in the country. 

I am one of those who have been obliged to give 
up coffee, and I will conclude this article by telling 
how rigorously I was subjected to its power. 

The Duke of Mossa, then minister of justice, called 
on ma for an opinion about which I wished to be 
careful, and for which he had allowed me but a very 
short time. 

I determined then to sit up all night, and to enable 
me to do so took two large cups of strong and highly 
flavored coffee. 

I went home at seven o'clock to get the papers 
which had been promised me, but found a note telling 
me I would not get them until the next day. 

Thus in every respect disappointed, I returned td 
the house where I had dined, and played a game of 
piquet, without any of the moody fits to which I was 
ordinarily subject. 

I did justice to the coffee, but I was not at ease 
as to how I would pass the night. 

I went to bed at my usual hour, thinking that if 


I did not get my usual allowance, I would at least 
get four or five hours, sufficient to carry me through 
the day. 

I was mistaken. I had been two hours in bed and 
was wider awake than ever ; I was in intense mental 
agitation, and fancied my brain a mill, the wheels of 
which revolved, grinding nothing. 

The idea came to me to turn this fancy to account, 
and I did so, amusing myself by putting into verse a 
story I had previously read in an English paper 

I did so without difficulty, and as I did not sleep I 
undertook another, but in vain. A dozen verses had 
exhausted my poetic faculty, and I gave it up. 

I passed the night without sleep, and without even 
being stupified for a moment, I arose and passed the 
day in the same manner. When on the next night 
I went to bed at my usual hour I made a calculation, 
and found out that I had not slept for forty hours. 


The first visiters of America were impelled by a 
thirst of gold. At that time nothing was appreciated 
but the products of the mines. Agriculture and com- 
merce were in their infancy, and political economy was 
as yet unborn. The Spaniards found then the precious 
metals, an almost sterile discovery, for they decreased 
in value as they became more abundant. We have 
other and better ways to increase wealth. 

In those regions, however, where a genial sun confers 


immense fruitfulness on the soil, the cultivation of 
sugar and coffee was found advantageous. The potato, 
indigo, vanilla, guano, cocoa, were also discovered ; 
these are its real treasures. 

If these discoveries took place in spite of the bar- 
riers opposed to curiosity by a jealous nation, we may 
reasonably hope that they will ,be multiplied ten-fold 
in the course of the years to come ; and that the 
explorations of the savants of old Europe will enrich 
the three kingdoms with a multitude of substances 
which will give us new sensations, as vanilla has, or 
augment our alimentary resources, as cocoa. 

It has been determined to call chocolate the result 
of the paste of cocoa burnt with sugar and the bark 
of the cinnamon. This is the technical definition of 
chocolate. Sugar is the integral part, for without 
sugar the compound is cocob and chocolate. To sugar, 
cinnamon and cocoa is joined the delicious aroma of 
vanilla, and thus is obtained the ne plus ultra to which 
this preparation can be carried. 

To this small number of ingredients has been 
reduced the number of things sought to mingle with 
cocoa in the manufacture of chocolate. Pepper, 
pimento, anise seed, ginger and others, have neces- 
sarily been tried. 

The cocoa tree is a native of South America, and 
is found both in the islands and on the continent. It 
has been confessed, however, that the best fruit is 
produced by the trees which grow on the banks of 

144 F00D IN GERMS. 

Moracaibo, in the valleys of Caracas, and in the 
province of Sokomusko. The fruit is larger, the 
sugar less bitter, and the taste higher. Since these 
regions have become accessible, a comparison may be 
made every day and the palate will never be deceived. 

The Spanish women of the new world are passion- 
ately fond of chocolate ; and not satisfied with taking 
it two or three times a day, have it even sent after 
them to church. This sensuality has often drawn 
down the censure of their bishops, who, however, 
gradually closed their eyes to it. The reverend father 
Escobar, the metaphysics of whom was subtle as his 
morals were accommodating, used to declare that cho- 
colate made with water did not break a fast ; thus for 
the use of his penitents reproducing the old adage, 
"Iriquidum non frangit jejunium" 

Chocolate was brought to Spain about the end of 
the seventeenth century, and the use became at once 
common. Women especially showed great fondness 
for it. Manners have not changed in this particular 
as yet, and now throughout all the peninsula choco- 
late is presented on all occasions when it is usual to 
offer any refreshment. 

Chocolate crossed the mountains with Anne of 
Austria, the daughter of Philip II., and wife of Louis 
XIII. The Spanish monks also made it known, by 
presents to their brethren in France. The Spanish am- 
bassadors also made it popular, and during the regency 
it was more universally used than coffee, because it 


was taken as an agreeable food, while coffee was 
esteemed a luxury. 

Linnaeus calls the cocoa cacao iheobroma, (cocoa, the 
drink of the gods). A cause for this name has been 
sought. Some assign his passionate fondness for it, 
and the other his desire to please his confessor ; there 
are those who attribute it to gallantry, a Queen haying 
first introduced it. (Incertum.) 


Chocolate has given occasion to profound disserta- 
> tions, with the object of determining its nature and 
properties, and to place it in the category of warm, 
cold, or temperate drinks. We must own all their 
lucubrations have contributed but slightly to the 
elucidation of truth. 

It was left for time and experience, those two great 
masters, to show that chocolate prepared with care is 
as healthful as it is agreeable. That it is nourishing, 
easily digested, and is not so injurious to beauty as 
coffee is said to be. It is very suitable to persons 
who have much mental toil, to professors and lawyers, 
especially to lawyers. It also suits certain feeble 
stomachs, and has been thought most advantageous in 
chronic diseases. It is the last resource in affections 
of the pylortM. 

These various properties chocolate owes to nothing 
but an eloemccharum. Few substances contain in 



the same volume more nutrition. It becomes almost 
entirely animalised. 

During the war, cocoa was rare and very dear. 
Substitutes were sought for, but all efforts were vain. 
One of the blessings of peace was that it rid us of all 
those humbugs one was forced to taste, but which 
were no more chocolate than chicory is mocha. 

Some persons complain that they cannot digest 
chocolate. Others say that it does not nourish them, 
and that it passes away too quickly. 

The probability is that the first have only to blame 
themselves, and that the chocolate they use is of bad 
quality. Good and well made chocolate can be 
digested even by the weakest stomach. 

The others have an easy remedy, and they need 
only strengthen their stomachs by *pate 9 a cotelette, 
or a jerked kidney. Then let them take a bowl of 
sokomusko, and thank God for such a powerful 

Here I have an opportunity to give two examples, 
the correctness of which may be relied on. 

After a good breakfast one may drink a full bowl 
of chocolate, and digestion in three hours will be per- 
fect, so that one may dine at any hour that is pleasant. 
... In zeal for the advancement of the science, I 
tried this experiment on many ladies who assured me 
they would die. They did not, though, and lived to 
glorify the professor. 

Those who use chocolate, ordinarily enjoy the most 


perfect health, and are the least subject to the multi- 
tude of ailments which destroy life ; their embon- 
point is stationary. These two examples any one 
can verify in society by a scrutiny of those the regi- 
men of whom is known. 

This is the true place to speak of the properties of 
chocolate, which I have verified by many examples 
and experiments, which I am delighted to exhibit to 
my readers. {See varieties at the end of the volume.) 

Now, then, let any man who has indulged too much 
in the cup otvolupte; let every man who has passed 
in toil too much of the time when he should have 
slept ; let every man of mind, who finds his faculties 
temporarily decay ; every man who finds the air humid 
and the atmosphere painful to breathe ; let every man 
who has a fixed idea which would deprive him of the 
liberty of thought ; let them each take a demi litre of 
chocolate ambre, (sixty grains of amber to the kilo- 
gramme), and they will see wonders. 

In my way of distinguishing things, I have called 
this chocolate des affligis ; because in all the conditions 
I have referred to, there is something very like afflic- 

Very good chocolate is made in Spain ; one is indis- 
posed to send thither for it, for all manufacturers are 
not equally skillful, and when it comes it has to be 
used as it is. 

Italian chocolates do not suit the French, for the 
cocoa is burned too much. This makes the chocolate 


bitter, and deprives it of its nourishment* A portion 
of the bean has been reduced to carbon. 

Chocolate having bec6me common in France, all 
sought to learn how to make it. Few, however, 
approximated to perfection for the art is not easy. 

In the first place it was necessary to know good 
cocoa and to use it in all its purity. There is no 
first quality case that has not its inferiorities, and a 
mistaken interest often causes damaged beans to be 
put in, which should have been rejected. The roast- 
ing of the cocoa is also a delicate operation, and 
requires a tact very like inspiration. Some have the 
faculty naturally, and are never mistaken. 

A peculiar talent is necessary to regulate the quan- 
tity of sugar which enters into the composition. It 
is not invariable and a matter of course, but varies in 
proportion to the aroma of the bean and the degree 
of torrefaction. 

The trituration and mixture do not demand Jess 
care, and on them depends the greater or less diges- 
tibility of chocolate. 

Other considerations should also preside over the 
choice and quantity of aromas, which should not be the 
same with chocolate made for food and those taken as 
luxuries. It should also be varied according if the 
mass is intended to receive vanilla or not. In fine, to 
make good chocolate a number of very subtle equa- 
tions must be resolved, and which we take advantage 
of without suspecting that they ever took place. 


For a long time machines have been employed for 
the manufacture of chocolate. We think this does 
not add at all to its perfection, but it diminishes 
manipulation very materially, so that those who have 
adopted it should be able to sell chocolate at a very 
low rate.* They, however, usually sell it more dearly, 
and this fact demonstrates that the true spirit of 
commerce has not yet entered France ; the use of 
machines should be as advantageous to the consumer 
as to the producer. 


The Americans! make their chocolate without sugar. 
When they wish to take chocolate, they send for cho- 
colate. Every one throws into his cup as much 
cocoa as it needs, pours warm water in, and adds the 
sugar and perfumes he wishes. 

This method neither suits our habits nor our tastes, 
for we wish chocolate to come to us ready prepared. 

In this state, transcendental chemistry has taught 
us that it should neither be rasped with the knife nor 
bruised with a pestle, because thus a portion of the 
sugar, is converted into starch, and the drink made 
less attractive. 

Thus to make chocolate, that is to say, to make it 

* One of those machines is now in operation in a window in 
Broadway, New York. It is a model of mechanical appro- 

t South Americans. — Translator. 


fit for immediate use, about an ounce and a half 
should be taken for each cup, which should be slowly 
dissolved in water while it is heated, and stirred from 
time to time with a spatula of wood. It should be 
boiled a quarter of an hour, in order to give it consis- 
tency, and served up hot. 

"Monsieur," said madame d'Arestrel, fifty years 
ago, to me at Belley, "when you wish good chocolate 
make it the evening before in a tin pot. The rest of 
the night gives it a velvet-like flavor that makes it 
far better. God will not be offended at this little 
refinement, for in himself is all excellence/' 



It was a fine morning in May; the sun shed his 
brightest rays on the smoky roofs of the city of 
enjoyments, and the streets (strangely enough) were 
filled neither with mud nor dust 

The heavy diligences had long ceased to shake the 
streets ; the heavy wagons had ceased to pass, and 
only open carriages were seen, in which indigenous 
and exotic beauties under beautiful hats, cast disdain- 
ful looks on ugly, and smiling ones on good-looking 

It was three o'clock when the professor sought his 
arm chair to meditate. 

His right leg rested vertically on the floor, his left 
formed a diagonal angle with, and rested on it. His 
back was comfortably supported, and his hands rested 
on the lions' heads which terminated the arms of the 
venerable piece of furniture in which he sat. 

His lofty brow indicated intense study, and his 
mouth a taste for pleasant amusement. His air was 
collected, and any one to have seen him would have 
said, "that is a sage of ancient days." 

< 151 ) 


The professor sent for his preparateur en chef, 
(chief cook) and that officer arrived, ready to receive 
orders, advice or lessons. 


"Master la Planche," said the professor with that 
deep grave accent which penetrates the very depth 
of our hearts, " all who sit at my table pronounce 
your potages of the first class, a very excellent thing, 
for potage is the first consolation of an empty sto- 
mach. I am sorry to say though that you are uncer- 
tain as zfriturier.* 

u I heard you sigh yesterday over that magnificent 
sole you served to us, pale, watery and colorless. My 
friend B.f looked disapprovingly of it, M. H. R. 
turned his gastronomical nose to the left, and the 
President S. declared such a misfortune equal to a 
public calamity. 

" This happened because you neglected the theory, 
the importance of which you are aware of. You are 
rather obstinate, though I have taken the trouble to 
impress on you the facts, that the operations of your 
laboratory are only the execution of the eternal laws of 
nature, and that certain things which you do carelessly, 
because you have seen others do so ; yet these are the 

* Anglice. Fryer. 

t Mr. R , born at Seyssel, in the district of Belley, in 

1757, an elector of the grand college. He may be considered 
an example of the good effects of prudence and probity. 


results of the highest science. Listen to me, there- 
fore, with attention, that you may never again blush 
at your works. 


"Liquids which you subject to the action of fire 
cannot all receive the same quantity of heat. Nature 
has formed them differently, and this secret, which we 
will call capacity for caloric, she has kept to herself. 

" You may, therefore, with impunity dip your finger 
in boiling spirits of wine ; you would take it very 
quickly from boiling brandy ; more rapidly yet from 
water; while the most rapid immersion in boiling 
oil would heat you easily. 

" Consequently warm fluids act differently on the 
sapid bodies presented to them. Those subject to 
water soften, dissolve, and reduce themselves to 
boilli. The result is bouillon and its extracts. 
Those on the contrary treated with oil harden, assume 
a color more or less deep, and finally are carbonized. 

" In the first instance, water dissolves and conveys 
away the interior juices of the alimentary substances 
placed in it. In the second the juices are preserved, 
for they are insoluble in oil. If these things dry up 
it is because a continuous heat vaporizes the humid 

" The two methods have different names, and frying 
is boiling in oil or grease substances intended to be 
eaten. I think I have told you that officially oil and 


grease are synoymous ; heating the latter being but a 
concrete oil* 


" Fritures are well received in entertainments into 
which they introduce an agreeable variety. They 
are agreeable to the taste, preserve their primitive 
flavor, and may be eaten with the hand, a thing 
women are always fond of. 

" Thus cooks are able to hide many things that have 
appeared on the day before, and remedy unforeseen 
requisitions on them. It takes no longer to fry a 
four pound chop than it does to boil an egg. 

"All the merit of the friture is derived from the 
surprise, or the invasion of the boiling liquid which 
carbonizes or burns at the very instant of immersion 
of the body placed in it. 

"To effect a purpose, the liquid must be hot enough 
to act instantaneously. It does not, however, reach 
this point until it has long been submitted to the 
action of a blazing and hot fire. 

" By the following means it may be ascertained if 
the friture be heated to the wished-for degree, cut a 
piece of bread in the form of a cube, and dip it in the 
pan for five or six seconds, if you take it out firm and 
dark put in what you wish to prepare immediately. 
If it be not, stir the fire and begin again. 

" The surprise being once effected, moderate the fire 
that the action may not be too hurried, and that by a 


prolonged heat the juices it contains may be changed 
and the flavor enhanced. 

" You have doubtless observed th&t firiture* dissolve 
neither the sugar nor salt their respective natures 
require. You should not fail then to reduce those sub- 
stances to a very fine powder in order that they may 
adhere the more readily, and season the dish by jux- 

" I do not tell you about oils and greases for the 
different treatises I have put in your library give you 
sufficient light. 

"Do not forget, however, when you get one of 
those trout which do not weigh more than half a 
pound, and which come from murmuring streams, far 
from the capitol, to use the finest olive oil. This 
delicate dish duly powdered and garnished with slices 
of lemon is fit for a cardinal.* 

" Eperlans (smelt or sprat) should be treated in the 
same manner. This is the becfique of the water, 
and has the same perfume and excellence. 

" These two prescriptions are founded in the very 
nature of things. Experience tells us that olive oil 

* Mr. Aulissin, a very well informed Neapolitan lawyer, 
and a good amateur performer on the violoncello, dining one 
day with me, and eating some thing that pleased him, said — 
" Questo % un vero boccone di cardinale." " Why," said I, in the 
same tongue, not say " boccone in Re" " Seignore," said he, 
" we Italians do nothing ; a king cannot be a gourmand, for 
royal dinners are too short and solemn. With cardinals things 
are yery different." He shrugged his shoulders as he spoke. 


should only be used with things which are soon cooked, 
and which do not demand too high a temperature, 
because prolonged ebullition developes an empyreu- 
matic and disagreable taste produced by a few par- 
ticles of pulp, which can, being impossible to be 
gotten rid of, carbonize. 

" You tried my furnace, and were the first person 
who ever succeeded in producing an immense fried 
turbot. On that day there was great rejoicing among 
the elect. 

" Continue to be coeval in all you attempt, and 
never forget that from the moment guests enter the 
salon we are responsible for their happiness." 



Thirst is the internal feeling of a wish to drink. 

A heat of about 32° Reaumur, constantly vaporizing 
the different fluids the circulation of which sustains 
life, the diminution they undergo would unfit them for 
their purposes, if they were not renewed and refreshed. 
The necessity of this renewal is what we call thirst. 

We think the seat of thirst is in the digestive sys- 
tem. When athirst (we have often felt the sensation 
when hunting) we feel distinctly that all the inhaling 
portions of the nostrils, mouth and throat are benumbed 
and hardened, and that if thirst be sometimes ap- 
peased by the application of fluids to other parts of 
the body, as in the bath, the reason is that as soon as 
they are absorbed they hurry rapidly to the seat of 
, the evil and become remedies. 


Looking at the subject in all its bearings we may 
count three varieties of thirst : latent, factitious and 

14 (157) 


Latent or habitual thirst, is the insensible equi- 
librium established between transpiratory vaporiza- 
tion and the necessity of supplying what is lost. 
Thus, thougH we experience no pain, we are invited to 
drink while we eat, and are able to drink at almost 
every moment of the day. This thirst accompanies 
us every where, and is almost a portion of our exist- 

Factitious thirst is peculiar to man, and results from 
the instinct which impels him to seek in drink the 
strength he needs. It is an artificial enjoyment rather 
than a natural want. This thirst is really governless, 
because the fluids we take have the faculty of reviving 
it, and this thirst becomes habitual, makes drunkards 
in every country. The consequence is, that they 
drink as long as liquor lasts, or until they are utterly 

When, on the other hand, thirst is appeased by pure 
water, which seems the most natural remedy, we never 
drink more than we actually need. 

Hardening thirst is the result of the increase of the 
want, and of the impossibility to satisfy latent thirst. 

It is so called because it is accompanied by hard- 
ness of the tongue, dryness of the palate, and a de^ 
vouring heat in all the body. 

The sensation of thirst is so intense, that in all 
tongues it is synonymous with excessive desire, and 
irrepressible longing: thus we thirst for gold, wealth, 
power, science, &c, expressions which never would 

on THnuBT. 159 

have become common had men not have been athirst 
and aware of their vengeance* 

Appetite is pleasant when it does not reach the 
point of hunger. Thirst is not so, and as soon as we 
feel it we are uncomfortable and anxious. When 
there is no possibility of appeasing it, the state of mind 
is terrible. 

To compensate us for this, the sense of thirst pro- 
cures us great pleasure ; and when great thirst is ap- 
peased, or a delicious drink is offered to one moderately 
athirst, the whole papillary system is aroused, from 
the tip of the tongue to the extremity of the stomach. 

We die of thirst more rapidly than of hunger. 
Men with an abundance of water, have lived for eight 
days without bread. Without water, the system suc- 
cumbs on the fifth. 

The reason is that in starving, man dies more of 
weakness ; in thirst of a burning fever. 

People are not always able to resist thirst so long : 
in 1787, one of the hundred Swiss of Louis XVI., died 
from having been twenty-four hours without drink. 

He was at a cabaret with some of his comrades, 
and as he was about to carry his glass to his lips, he 
was reproached with drinking oftener than the rest, 
and with not being able to do a moment without it. 

He then made a bet of ten bottles of wine, that he 
would not drink for twenty-four hours. 

He ceased at once, and sat by, for two hours, seeing 
the others drink. 

160 0N 7HIR8T. 


The night passed well enough, but at dawn he found 
it difficult to do without his habitual glass of brandy. 

All the morning he was uneasy and troubled ; he 
went hither and thither without reason, and seemed 
not to know what he was about. 

At one o'clock he laid down, fancying he would be 
calmer : he was really sick, but those about him could 
not induce him to drink. He said he could get on till 
evening: he wished to gain his bet, and it is probable 
also, that some military pride was mingled in the mat* 
ter, which prevented him from yielding to pain. 

He kept up until seven o'clock, but at half-after 
seven was very sick and soon died, without being able 
to swallow a glass of wine which was presented to him. 

I was informed of all these details that very night, 
by the Sieur Schneider, the fifer of the hundred Swiss, 
in the house of whom I lived at Versailles. 


Many circumstances, either united or separate, 
contribute to thirst. We shall mention some which 
are not without influence on our habits. 

Heat augments thirst. Whence comes the disposi- 
tion men have always had to build their habitations 
near the sea. 

Corporeal labor augments thirst. Persons who 
employ labourers, always gratify them by drink — 
hence the proverb that wine given them is always well 


Dancing increases thirst, and for this reason the 
ball-room is always supplied with invigorating drinks. 

Declamation also increases thirst, which accounts 
for the glass of water readers always seek to drink 
with grace, and which is always beside the white hand- 
kerchief on the desk. 

Genesiac pleasure excites thirst, and accounts for 
the poetical descriptions of Cyprus, Amathonte, Gni- 
dus, and other homes of Venus, in which there are 
always shady groves and murmuring streamlets. 

Song augments thirst, and therefore all vocalists are 
said to be such huge drinkers. A musician myself, I 
protest against this assertion, which has neither rhyme 
nor reason. 

The artists in our saloons drink with as much pru- 
dence as sagacity ; what they lose in this, however, 
they atone for on the other side ; if not given to drink, 
they are untiring gourmands, so much so, that I am 
told at the Circle of Transcendental Harmony,* the 
festivals of St. Cecile lasted twenty-four hours. 


Exposure to a rapid current of air, causes a rapid 
augmentation of thirst, and I think the following ob- 
servations will be read with pleasure by all the lovers 
of the chase. 

It is well known that quail are fond of huge moun- 

* A well known "Musical Society." 


tains, where their broods are in more safety, from the 
fact that the harvests are later. 

When the rye is cut, they go into the barley and 
oats ; and when the latter is being harvested, they go 
into that portion which is less matured. 

This is the time to shoot them ; because in a small 
number- of acres, are found all the birds which a few 
months before were strewn through a whole commune 
and are at that time fat as possible. 

I went with some friends for the purpose of shoot- 
ing to a mountain in the arrondissiment- of Nan- 
tua, in the canton known as plan d'Hotonne, where 
we were about to commence the day's work under a 
brighter sun than any Parisian badaud ever saw. 

While we were at breakfast a violent north wind 
arose which was much in the way of our sport : we 
however continued. 

We had scarcely been out a quarter of an hour, 
when the most effeminate of the party said he was 
thirsty. We now, doubtless, would have laughed at 
him, had we not all experienced the same sensation. 

We all drank, for an ass loaded with refreshments 
followed us, but the relief afforded was of brief dura- 
tion. The thirst soon appeared with increased inten- 
sity, so that some fancied themselves sick, and others 
were becoming so, and all talked of returning. To do 
so was to have travelled ten leagues for no purpose. 

I had time to collect my ideas, and saw the reason 
of this strange thirst ; and told them we suffered from 


the effects of three causes. The dimunition of atmos- 
pheric pressure made our circulation more rapid. 
The sun heated us, and walking had increased tran- 
spiration. More than all these — the wind dried up this 
transpiration, and prevented all moistness of the skin. 

I told them that there was no danger, that the 
enemy was known, and that we must oppose it. 

Precaution however was ineffectual, for their thirst 
wa£ quenchless. Water, wine and water, and brandy, 
all were powerless. We suffered from thirst even 
while we drank, and were uncomfortable all day. 

We got through the day, however ; the owner of the 
domain of Latour entertaining us, joining the provi- 
sions we had, to his own stores. 

We dined very well and got into the hay-loft, where 
we slept soundly. 

The next day's experience showed my theory to be 
true. The wind lulled, the sun was not so warm, and 
we experienced no inconvenience from thirst. 

But a great misfortune had befallen us. We had 
very prudently filled our canteens, but they had not 
been able to resist the many assaults made on them. 
They were bodies without souls, and we all fell into 
the hands of the cabaret-keepers. 

We had to come to that point, not however without 
murmuring. I addressed an allocution full of re- 
proaches to the wind, when I saw a dish fit to be set 
before a king, "D'epinards <i la graisse de catties" 


destined to be eaten with a wine scarcely aB good as 
that of SurSne.* 

* A village two leagues from Paris, famous for its bad wine. 
There is a proverb which says that to get rid of a glass of 
Surlne, three things are needed, "a drinker and two men to 
hold him in case his courage fail/' The same may be said of 
Perieux, which people however will drink. 



By drinks we mean all liquids which mingle with 

Water seems to be the natural drink. Wherever 
there is animal life it is found, and replaces milk. For 
adults it is as necessary as air. 


Water is the only fluid which really appeases thirst, 

and for that reason only a small quantity of it can be 

V, drjlnk. The majority of other fluids that man drinks 

are only palliatives, and had he drink nothing else ny 
he never would have said that he drjtok without being vl 


Drinks are absorbed "by the animal economy with 

* This chapter is purely philosophical : a description of dif- 
ferent kinds of wine does not enter into the plan I have marked 
out for myself. If it was, I would never have finished my book. 



the most extreme facility. Their effect is prompt 
and the relief they furnish is almost instantaneous. 
Give the most hungry man you can meet with the richest 
possible food, he will eat with difficulty. Give him a 
glass of wine or of brandy, and at once he will find 
himself better* 

I can establish this theory by a very remarkable 
circumstance I received from my nephew, Colonel 
Guigard, a man not disposed to tell, long 6tories All 
may rely upon the accuracy of what he has said. 

He was at the head of a detachment returning from 
the siege of Jaffa, and was but a few hundred paces 
from the place where he expected to find water, and 
where he met many of the advanced guard already dead 
with heat. 

Among the victims of this burning climate was a 
carabinier who was known to many persons of the 

Many of his comrades who approached him for the 
last time* either to inherit what he had left, or to bid 
him adieu, were amazed to find his limbs flexible and 
something flexible around his heart. 

" Give him a drop ,of sacre chien" said the lustig 
of the troupe. " If he is not too far gohe into the other 
world, he will come back to taste it." 

At the reception of the first spoonful of spirits he 
opened his eyes : they then rubbed his temples and 
gave him a drop or two. After about an hour he was 
able to sit up in the saddle. 


He was taken to a fountain, nursed during the 
night, and carefully attended to. On the next day he 
reached Cairo. 


There is one thing very worthy of attention; 
the instinct which leads us to look for intoxicating 

Wine, the most pleasant of all drinks, whether due 
to Noah who planted the vine, or to Bacchus who ex- 
pressed the juice of the grape, dates back to the 
infancy of the world. Beer, which is attributed to 
Osiris, dates to an age far beyond history. 

All men, even those we call savages, have been so 
tormented by the passion for strong drinks, that 
limited as their capacities were, they were yet able to 
manufacture them. 

They made the milk of their domestic animals sour : 
they extracted the juice of many animals and many 
fruits in which they suspected the id^a of fermentation 
to exist. Wherever men are found, strong liquors are 
met with, and are used in festivities, sacrifices, mar- 
riages, funeral rites, and on all solemn occasions. 

For many centuries wine was drank and sung 
before any persons had an idea that it was possible to 
extract the spirituous portion, which is the essence of 
its power. The Arabs, however, taught us the art of 
distillation, invented by them to extract the perfume 
of flowers, and especially of the rose, so celebrated in 


their poems. Then persons began to fancy that in 
wine a source of excitement might be found to give 
taste a peculiar exaltation. By gradual experiments 
alcohol, spirits of wine, and brandy were discovered. 

Alcohol is the monarch of liquids, and takes pos- 
session of the extreme tastes of the palate. Its various 
preparations offer us countless new flavors, and to 
certain medicinal remedies, it gives an energy they 
could not well do without. It lias even become a for- 
midable weapon : the natives of the new world having 
been more utterly destroyed by brandy than by gun- 

The method by which alcohol was discovered, has 
led to yet more important results, as it consisted in 
the separation and exhibition of the constituent parts 
of a body, it became a guide to those engaged in 
analogous pursuits, and made us acquainted with new 
substances, such as quinine, morphine, strychnine and 
other similar ones. 

Be this as it may, the thirst for a liquid which na- 
ture has shrouded in veils, the extraordinary appetite 
acting on all races of men, under all climates and 
temperatures, is well calculated to attract the attention 
of the observer. 

I have often been inclined to place the passion for 
spirituous liquors, utterly unknown to animals, side 
by side with anxiety for the future, equally strange to 
them, and to look on the one and the other as distinc- 
tive attributes of the last sublunary revolution. 



I said — last sublunary revolution, and this idea 
awakened many strange ideas. 

Many things demonstrate to us that our globe has 
undergone many changes, each of which was, so to say, 
" an end of the world." Some instinct tells us many 
other changes are to follow. 

More than once, we have thought these revolutions 
likely to come, and the comet of Jerome Lalande has 
sent many persons to the confessional. 

The effect of all this has been that every one is dis- 
posed to surround this catastrophe with vengeance, 
exterminating angels, trumps and other accessories. 

Alas ! there is no use to take so much trouble to 
ruin us. We are not worth so much display, and if God 
please, he cait change the surface of the globe without 
any trouble. 

Let us for a moment suppose that one of those wan- 
dering stars, the route and mission of which none 
know, and the appearance of which is always accom- 
panied by some traditional terror; let us suppose 
15 <M» 


that it passes near enough to the sun, to be charged 
with a superabundance of caloric, and approach near 
enough to us to create a heat of sixty degrees Reau- 
mur over the whole earth (as hot again as the temper- 
ature caused by the comet of 1811.) 

All vegetation would die, all sounds would cease. 
The earth would revolve in silence until other circum- 
stances had evolved other germs : yet the cause of this 
disaster would have remained lost in the vast fields of 
air, and would never have approached us nearer than 
some millions of leagues. 

This event, which in the main, has ever seemed to 
me a fit subject for reverie, and I never ceased for a 
moment to dwell on it. 

This ascending heat is curious to be looked after, 
and it is not uninteresting to follow its effects, expan- 
sion, action, and to ask : 

How great it was during the first, second, and sub- 
sequent days. 

What effect it had on the earth, and water, and on 
the formation and mingling, and detonation of gasses. 

What influence it had on men, as far as age, sex, 
strength and weakness are concerned. 

What influence it has on obedience to- the laws, 
submission to authority, and respect to persons and 

What one should do to escape from danger. 

What influence it has on love, friendship, parental 
affection, self-love and devotion. 


What is its influence on the religious sentiments, 
faith, resignation and hope. 

History can furnish us a few facts on its moral 
influence, for the end of the world has more than once 
been predicted and determined. 

I am very sorry that I cannot tell my readers how 
I settled all this, but I will not rob them of the plea- 
sure of thinking of the matter themselves. This may 
somewhat shorten some of their sleepless hours, and 
ensure them a few siestas during the day. 

Great danger dissolves all bonds. . When the yel- 
low fever was in Philadelphia, in 1792, husbands 
closed the doors on their wives, children deserted their 
fathers, and many similar phenomena occurred. 

Quod a nobis Deus avertat I 





I have looked through various dictionaries for the 
word gourmandise* and have found no translation that 
suited me. It is described as a sort of confusion of 
gluttony and voracity. Whence I have concluded that 
lexicographers, though very pleasant people in other 
respects, are not the sort of men to swallow a partridge 
wing gracefully with one hand, with a glass of Laffitte 
or do8 de Vougeot in the other. 

They were completely oblivious of social gourman- 
dise, which unites Athenian elegance, Roman luxury 
and French delicacy ; which arranges wisely, flavors 
energetically, and judges profoundly. This is a pre- 
cious quality which might be a virtue and which is 
certainly the source of many pure enjoyments. 


Let us understand each other. 
Gourmandise is a passionate preference, well deter- 
mined and satisfied, for objects which flatter our taste. 

Gourmandise is hostile to all excesses : any man 
( 172 ) 


who becomes drunk or suffers from indigestion is likely 
to be expunged from the lists. 

Gourmandise also comprehends, friandise (passion 
for light delicacies) for pastry, comfitures, etc. This 
is a modification introduced for the special benefit of 
women, and men like the other sex. 

Look at gourmandise under any aspect you please, 
and it deserves praise. 

Physically, it is a demonstration of the healthy 
state of 'the organs of nutrition. 

Morally, it is implicit resignation to the orders of 
God, who made us eat to live, invites us to do so by 
appetite, sustains us by flavor, and rewards us by 


Considered from the points of view of political 
economy, gourmandise is the common bond which 
unites the people in reciprocal exchanges of the ar- 
ticles needed for daily consumption. 

This is the cause of voyages from one pole to the 
other, for brandy, spices, sugars, seasonings and pro- 
visions of every kind, even eggs and melons. 

This it is which gives a proportional price to things, 
either mediocres, good or excellent, whether the arti- 
cles derive them out of, or from nature. 

This it is that sustains the emulation of the crowd 
of fishermen, huntsmen, gardeners and others, who 
15 * 


every day fill the wealthiest kitchens with the result 
of their labours. 

This it is which supports the multitude of cooks, 
pastry-cooks, confectioners, etc., who employ work- 
men of every kind, and who perpetually put in circu- 
lation, an amount of money which the shrewdest calcu- 
lator cannot imagine. 

Let us observe that the trades and occupations de- 
pendent on gourmandise have this great advantage, 
that on one hand it is sustained by great misfor- 
tunes and on the other by accidents which happen 
from day to day. 

In the state of society we now have reached, it is 
difficult to conceive of a people subsisting merely on 
bread and vegetables. Such a nation if it existed 
would certainly be subjected by carnivorous enemies, 
as the Hindoos were, to all who ever chose to attack 
them. If not it would be converted by the cooks of 
its neighbors as the Blotiens were, after the battle of 


Gourmandise offers great resources to fiscality, for 
it increases customs, imports, etc. All we consume 
pays tribute in one degree or another, and there is no 
source of public revenue to which gourmands do not 

Let us speak for a moment of that crowd of pre- 
parers who every year leave France, to instruct 


foreign nations in gourmandise. The majority succeed 
and obedient to the unfasting instinct of a French- 
man's fever, return to their country with the fruits of 
their economy. This return is greater than one would 

Were nations grateful, to what rather than to gour- 
mandise should France erect a monument. 


In 1815, the treaty of the month of November, 
imposed on France the necessity of paying the allies 
in three years, 750,000,000 francs. 

Added to this was the necessity of meeting the de- 
mands of individuals of various nations, for whom the 
allied sovereigns had stipulated, to the amount of more 
than 300,000,000. 

To this must be added requisitions of all kinds by 
the generals of the enemies who loaded whole wagons, 
which they sent towards the frontier, and which the 
treasury ultimately had to pay for. The total was 
more than 1,500,000,000 francs. 

One might, one almost should have feared, that such 
large payments, collected from day to day, would have 
produced want in the treasury, a deprecation of all 
fictitious values, and consequently all the evils which 
befall a country that has no money, while it owes 

" Alas," said the rich, as they saw the wagon going 
to the Hue Vivienne for its load.; " all our money is 


emigrating, next year we will bow down to a crown : 
we are utterly mined ; all our undertakings will fail, 
and we will not be able to borrow. There will be 
nothing but ruin and civil death." 

The result contradicted all these fears ; the payments, 
to the amazement of financiers, were made without 
trouble, public credit increased, and all hurried after 
loans. During the period of this superpurgation, the 
course of exchange, an infallible measure of the cir- 
culating of money, was in our favor. This was an 
arithmetical proof that more money came into France 
than left it. 

What power came to our aid ? What divinity ope- 
rated this miracle ? Gourmandise. 

When the Britons, Germans, Teutons, Cimmerians, 
and Scythes, made an irruption into France, they came 
with extreme voracity and with stomachs of uncommon 

They were not long contented with the cheer furn- 
ished them by a forced hospitality, but aspired to more 
delicate enjoyments. The Queen City, ere long, be- 
came one immense refectory. The new comers ate in 
shops, cafes, restaurants, and even in the streets. 

They gorged themselves with meat, fish, game, truf- 
fles, pastry and fruit. 

They drank with an avidity quite equal to their 
appetite, and always called for the most costly wine, 
expecting in those unknown enjoyments, pleasures 
they did not meet with* 


Superficial observers could not account for this eat- 
ing, without hunger, which seemed limitless. All true 
Frenchmen, however, rubbed their hands, and said, 
"they are under the charm; they have spent this 
evening more money than they took from the treasury 
in the morning." 

This epoch was favorable to aH those who contri- 
buted to the gratification of the taste. Vfery made 
his fortune, Achard laid the foundation of his, and 
Madame Sullot, the shop of whom, in the Palais Royar, 
was not twenty feet square, sold twelve thousand petit* 
pateB a day. 

The effect yet lasts, for strangers crowd to Paris 
from all parts of Europe, to rest from the fatigues of 
war. Our public monuments, it may be, are not so 
attractive as the pleasures of gourmandise, every- 
where elaborated in Paris, a city essentially gourmand. 


Gourmandise is not unbecoming to women: it 
suits the delicacy of their organs and recompenses 
them for some pleasures they cannot enjoy, and for 
some evils to which they are doomed. 

Nothing is more pleasant than to see a pretty wo- 
man, her napkin well placed under her arms, one of 
her hands on the table, while the other carries to her 
mouth, the choice piece so elegantly carved. Her 
eyes become brilliant, her lips glow, her conversation 
is agreeable and all her motions become graceful. 



With so many advantages she is irresistible, and even 
Cato, the censor, would feel himself moved. 


I will here record what to me is a bitter reflection. 

I was one day most commodiously fixed at table, 

by the side of the pretty Madame M d, and 

was inwardly rejoicing at having obtained such an ad- 
vantageous position, when she said " your health." I 
immediately began a complimentary phrase, which 
however, I did not finish, for turning to her neighbor 
on the right, she said "Trinquons" they touched 
each others glasses. This quick transition seemed 
a perfidy, and the passage of many years have not 
made me forget it, 


The penchant of the fair sex for gourmandise is not 
unlike instinct ; for gourmandise is favorable to beauty. 

A series of exact and rigorous examinations, has 
shown that a succulent and delicate person on careful 
diet, keeps the appearance of old age long absent. 

It makes the eyes more brilliant, and the color more 
fresh. It makes the muscles stronger, and as the de- 
pression of the muscles causes wrinkles, those terrible 
enemies of beauty, it is true that other things being 
equal, those who know how to eat, are ten years 
younger than those ignorant of that science. 

Painters and sculptors are well aware of this, for 


they never represent those to whom abstinence is a 
matter of duty, such as anchorites and misers, except 
as pale, thin, and wrinkled. 


Gourmandise is one of the principle bonds of 
society. It gradually extends that spirit of convivi- 
ality, which every day unites different professions, 
mingles them together, and diminishes the angles of 

This it is, which induces every amphitryon to re- 
ceive his guests well, and also excites the gratitude of 
the latter when they see themselves well taken care 
of : here is the place to reprobate those stupid masti- 
cators, who with the most guilty indifference to the 
greatest luxuries, and who with sacrilegious indiffer- 
ence inhale the odorous perfume of nectar. 

General Law. — Every display of high intelligence, 
makes explicit praise necessary. Delicate praise is 
necessary, wherever a wish to please is evident. 


When gourmandise is shared with another, it has 
the greatest influence on conjugal happiness. 

A gourmand couple have at least once a day a 
pleasant occasion to meet, for even those who sleep 
apart (and there are many) dine together. They talk 
of what they have eaten, of what they have seen 
elsewhere, of fashionable dishes and of new inventions, 


etc., etc. We all know how full of charms this chit 
chat is. 

Music, doubtless, has many charms for those who 
love it; but to succeed, one must make a business 
of it. 

Besides, sometimes one has a cold, misplaces the 
score, has the sick headache or feels inert. 

One necessity calls each of the couple to the table, 
where the same feeling retains them. They exhibit 
naturally slight attentions to each other, which evinces 
a desire to please, and the manner in which they act 
to each other speaks loudly of the manner of their lives. 

This observation, though new in France, has not 
escaped the attention of the English novelist, Field- 
ing, who in Pamela gives the well-known instance of 
the manner in which the heroine and her husband 
lived on the one hand, and the more magnificent but 
unhappy life of the elder brother and his wife. 

Honour then to gourmandise as we present it to 
our readers, inasmuch as it diverts man neither from 
occupation nor from duty ; for as the dissoluteness of 
Sardanapulus did not cause the world to look on 
woman with horror, neither did Vitellius' excesses 
induce the world to turn aside from a well-ordered 

When gourmandise becomes gluttony, voracity or 
debauchery, it loses its name and attributes, falling 
into the hands of the moralist who will treat it by ad- 
vice, or the medical man who will treat it by remedy. 


Gourmandise, as the professor has described it, has 
a name only in French ; neither the Latin gula, Eng- 
lish "gluttony" nor German lustemheit, expresses it, 
and we recommend all who attempt a translation of 
this instructive book to preserve the word, changing 
the article which produces it only. Thus they did 
with coquetterie, 


" I observe with pride, that gourmandise and coquet- 
tery, the two great modifications which society has 
effected in our imperious wants, are both of French 




There are individuals to whom nature has refused 
a fineness of organs and a degree of attention, without 
which the most succulent food passes unperceived. 

Physiology has already recognized the first of these 
varieties, by exhibiting the tongue of those unfortu- 
nate men who are badly provided with the means of 
appreciating flavors and tastes. Such persons have 
but an obtuse sensation, for to them taste is what 
light is to the blind. 

The second of these varieties is composed of absent 
minded men, of ambitious persons, and others, who 
wish to attend to two things at once, and who eat only 
to eat. 


Such was Napoleon ; he was irregular in his meals 
and ate quickly. When hungry, his appetite had to 
be satisfied at once, and he was so completely served, 
that at any hour he could have fowl, game or coffee. 




There is however, a privileged class, which organic 
and material organization invites to the enjoyments 
of the taste. 

I was always a disciple of Lavater and Gall, and 
believe in innate ideas. 

As persons have been born who see, walk, and hear 
badly, because they are near-sighted, lame, or deaf, 
why may there not be others inclined to peculiar sen- 

To the most careless observer there will ever be 
presented faces which bear the undeniable expres- 
sion of some , dominant sentiment, such as dis- 
dainful impertinence, self-satisfaction, misanthropy, 
sensuality, &c. A very meaningless face may express 
all this, but when the face has a determined expres- 
sion, one is rarely mistaken. 

Passions agitate the muscles, and often when a 
man is silent, the various feelings which agitate him 
may be read on his face. This tension, though habitual 
leave sensible traces, and give the face a permanent 
and well defined character. 


The persons predestined to gourmandise are 
in general of medium stature. Their faces are 
either round or square, and small, their noses 
short and their chins rounded. The women are 


rather pretty than beautiful, and they have a slight 
tendency to obesity. 

Those who are fondest of friandises have delicate 
features, smaller, and are distinguished by a peculiar j 

expression of the mouth. I 

Agreeable guests should be sought for among those 
who have this appearance. They receive all tjiat is | 

offered them, eat slowly, and taste advisedly. They 
do not seek to leave places too quickly where they 
have been kindly received. They are always in for 
all the evening, for tHey know all games, and all that 
is neccessary for a gastronomical soiree. 

Those, on the contrary, to whom nature has refused 
a desire for the gratifications of taste, have a long , 

nose and face. Whatever be their statures, the face 
seems out of order. Their hair is dark and flat, and 
they have no embonpoint They invented pantaloons. 

Women whom nature has thus afflicted, are very 
angulous, are uncomfortable at the table, and live on 
lenten fare. 

This physiological theory will, I trust, meet with not 
many contradictions : any one may verify the matter. 
I will, however, rely on facts. 

I was sitting one day at a great entertainment, and 
saw opposite to me a very pretty woman with a very 
sensual face. I leaned towards my neighbor and said, 
that the lady with such features must be gourmande. 
"Bah !" said he, " she is not more than fifteen ; she 
is not old enough — let us see though." 

4 GOUftMANDS. 185 

' The beginning was not favorable, and I was afraid 

* of being compromised. Daring the first two courses, 

J the young woman ate with a discretion which really 

j amazed me. The dessert came, it was brilliant as it 

r was abundant, and gave me some hopes. I was not 

deceived, for she not only ate what was set before 
her, but sent for dishes which were at the other end 
of the table. She tasted every thing, and we were 
surprised that so small a stomach could contain so 
much. My diagnostics succeeded and science tri- 

Two years after I met this same lady, who had 
been married a week. She had become far more beau- 
, tiful, was something of a coquette, for fashion permit- 

ted her to exhibit her charms. Her husband was a 
man worth looking at, but he was like one of those 
ventriloquists who laugh on one side of the face and 
weep on the other. He was very fond of his wife, 
but when any one spoke to her, quivered with 
jealousy. The latter sentiment prevailed, for he took 
his wife to one of the most remote departments of 
France, and I, at hast, can write no more of her biog- 

I made a similar observation about the Duke of 
DecrSs, long minister of marine. 

We knew that he was large, short, dark and square ; 
that his face was round, that his chin protruded, 
that his lips were thick, and that he had a giant's 


mouth. I therefore had no hesitation in proclaiming 
him fond of good cheer and of women. 
- This physiognomical remark I whispered to a wo- 
man I thought very pretty and very discreet. I was 
mistaken though, for she was a daughter of Eve, and 
my secret was made known. One evening his excel- 
lency was informed of the idea I had deduced from 
his face. 

I ascertained this the next day, by a pleasant letter 
which I received from the Duke, in which he insisted that 
he had not the two qualities I had attributed to him. 

I confessed myself beaten. I replied that nature 
does nothing in vain ; that she had evidently formed 
him for certain duties, and that if he did not fulfil 
them he contradicted his appearance. That besides, 
I had no right to expect such confidence, etc., etc. 

There the correspondence terminated, but a few 
days after all Paris was amused by the famous 
encounter between the minister and his cook, in which 
his excellency did not get the best of the matter. If 
after such an affair the cook was not dismissed, (and 
he was not,) I may conclude that the duke was com- 
pletely overcome by the artist's talents, and that he 
could not find another one to suit his taste so exactly, 
otherwise he would have gotten rid of so warlike a 

As I wrote these lines, during a fine winter evening, 
Mr. Cartier^once first violinist of the opera, entered 
my room and sat by the fire. I was full of my 


Bubject, and looked attentively at him. I said, " My 
dear Professor, how comes it that you, who have every 
feature of gourmandise, are not a gourmand ?" " I 
am," said he, " but I make abstinence a duty." " Is 
that an act of prudence ?" He did not reply, but he 
uttered a sigh, a la Walter Scott. 


If there be gourmands by predestination, there are 
also gourmands by profession. There are four classes 
of these : Financiers, men of letters, doctors, and 


Financiers are the heroes of gourmandise. Hero is 
here the proper name, for there was some contention, 
and the men who had titles crowd all others beneath 
their titles and escutcheons. They would have tri- 
umphed, but for the wealth of those they opposed. 
Cooks contended with genealogists ; and though dukes 
did not fail to laugh at their amphitryon, they came 
to the dinner, and that was enough. 

Those persons who make money easily must be 

The inequality of wealth produces inequality of 
wants. He who can pay every day for a dinner fit 
for an hundred persons, is often satisfied after having 
eaten the thigh of a chicken. Art then must use well 
its resources to revive appetite. Thus Mondar became 


a gourmand, and otnefs with the same tastes collects 
around him. 


Causes of another nature, though far less baneful, 
act on physicians, who, from the nature of things, are 
gourmands. To resist the attractions set before them 
they must necessarily be made of bronze. 

One day I ventured to say, (Doctor Corvisart was 
at the end of the table — the time was about 1806) : — 

" You are," said I, with the air of an inspired puri- 
tan, " the last remnant of a composition which once 
covered all France. The members of it are either 
annihilated or dispersed. No longer do we see 
farmers general, abbes, chevaliers, &c. Bear the 
burden they have bequeathed to you, even if you take 
the three hundred Spartans who died at Thermopylae ; 
such a fate should be yours." 

Nobody contradicted me. 

At dinner I made a remark which was worthy of 
notice : — 

Doctor Corvisart was a very pleasant man when he 
pleased, and was very fond of iced champagne. For 
•this reason, while all the rest of the company were 
dull and idle, he dealt in anecdotes and stories. On 
the contrary, when the dessert was put on, and con- 
versation became animated, he became serious and 
almost morose. 

From this and other observations, I deduced the 


following conclusion : Champagne, the first effect of 
which is exhilarating, in the result is stupefying, on 
account of the excessant carbonic gases it contains. 


As I measure doctors by their diplomat^ I will not 
reproach them for the severity with which they treat 
their invalids. 

As soon as one has the misfortune to fall into their 
hands, one has to give up all we have previously 
thought agreeable. 

I look on the majority of these prohibitions as 
useless. I say useless, because patients never desire 
what is injurious to them. 

, A reasonable physician should never lose sight of 
the natural tendency of our inclinations, nor forget to 
ascertain if our penchants are painful in themselves, 
or improving to health. A little wine, or a few drops 
of liquor, brings the smiles to the most hypochondriac 

Besides, they know that their severe prescriptions 
are almost always without effect, and the patient seeks 
to avoid him. Those who are around him, never are 
in want of a reason to gratify him. People, however, 
will die. 

The ration of a sick Russian, in 1815, would have 
made a porter drunk. There was no retrenchment to 
be made, for military inspectors ran from day to day 
through the hospitals, and watched over the furnish- 
ment and the service of the various houses. 


T express my opinions with the more confidence, 
because it is sustained by much experience, and that 
the most fortunate practitioners rely on my system. 

The canon Rollet who died about fifty years ago, 
was a great drinker ; and the first physician he em- 
ployed, forbid him to use wine at all. When, however, 
he came again, the doctor found his patient in bed, 
and before him the corpus delicti, i. e., a table covered 
with a white cloth, a chrystal cup, a handsome bottle* 
and a napkin to wipe his lips with. 

The doctor at once became enraged, and was about 
to withdraw, when the canon said in a lamentable 
voice, " doctor, remember, if you forbade my drink- 
ing, you did not prohibit my looking at the bottle. " 

The physician who attended M. Montlusin de Point 
de Veyle was far more cruel, for he not only forbid his 
patient to touch wine, but made him drink large quan- 
tities of water. 

A. short time after the doctor had left, Mme. de 
Montlusin, anxious to fulfil the requisition of the pres- 
cription, and contribute to her husband's recovery, 
gave him a great glass of water, pure and limpid as 

The patient received it kindly and sought to drink 
it with resignation. At the first swallow, however, he 
stopped, and giving the glass back to his wife, said, 
" Take this, dear, and keep it for the next dose ; I 
have always heard, one should never trifle with rem- 



Men of letters in the world of gastronomy, have a 
place nearly equal to that of men of medical faculty. 

Under the reign of Louis XIV., men of letters were 
all given to drink. They conformed to fashion and the 
memoirs of the day, in this respect, are very defying. 
They are now gourmands, — a great amelioration. 

I am far from agreeing with the cynic Geoffroy, 
who used to say that modern works were deficient in 
power because authors now drank only eau sucree. 

I think he made two mistakes, both in the fact and 
the consequences. 

The age we live in is rich in talents ; they injure 
each other perhaps by their multitude ; but posterity, 
judging with more calmness, will see much to admire. 
Thus we do justice to the great productions of Racine 
and Moli^re which when written were coldly received. 

The social position of men of letters was never more 
agreeable. They no longer live in the garrets they 
used to inhabit, for the field of literature has become 
fertile. The stream of Hippocr£ne rolls down golden 
sands : equals of all, they never hear the language of 
protection, and gourmandise overwhelms them with its 
choicest favours. 

Men of letters are courted on account of their tal- 
ent, and because their conversation is in general 
piquant, and because it has for some time been estab- 
lished, that every society should have its man of 


These gentlemen always come a little too late : they 
are not however received the most on that account, for 
they have been anxiously expected : they are petted 
up to induce them to come again, are flattered to make 
them brilliant, and as they find all this very natural, 
they grow used to it and become genuine gourmands. 


Among the friends of gourmandise are many very 
devout persons. 

By the word devotee, we understand what Louis 
XIV. and Moliere did, persons the piety of whom 
consists in external observances ; pious and charitable 
persons have nothing to do with this class. 

Let us see how they effect this — among those who 
work out their salvation, the greatest number seek the 
mildest method. Those who avoid society, sleep on the 
ground and wear hair cloth, are always exceptions. 

Now there are to them certain damnable things 
never to be permitted, such as balls, plays, and other 

While they and those who enjoy them are abomi- 
nated, gourmandise assumes an altogether different 
aspect, and becomes almost theological. 

Jure divino, man is the king of nature and all that 
earth creates was produced for him. For him the 
quail becomes fat, the mocha has its perfume, and 
sugar becomes beneficial to the health. 

Why then should we not use with suitable modera- 


tion the goods which Providence offers us, especially 
as we continue to look on them as perishable things, 
and as they exalt our appreciation of the Creator. 

Other not less weighty reasons strengthen these— 
can we receive too kindly those persons who take 
charge of our souls ? Should we not make a meeting 
with them pleasant and agreeable ? 

Sometimes the gifts of Oomus come unexpectedly. 
An old college companion, an old friend, a penitent 
who humbles himself, a kinsman who makes himself 
known or a protege recalls them. 

This has ever been the case. 

Convents were the true ware-houses of the most 
adorable delacies: for that reason they have been so 
much regretted.* 

Many monastic orders, especially the Bernardins 
paid great attention to good cheer. The cooks of the 
clergy reached the very limits of the art, and M. de 
Pressigny (who died Archbishop of Besangon) returned 
from the conclave which elected Pio Sesto, he said 
the best dinner he ate in Borne was given by the 
General of the Capuchins. 


We cannot bring this article to a better end than to 

* The best liquors in France were made of the Visitandines. 
The monks of Niort invented the conserve of Angelica, and 
the bread flavoured with orange flowers by the notes of Cha- 
teau-Thierry is yet famous. The nuns of Belley used also to 
make a delicious conserve of nuts. Alas, it is lost, I am afraid. 


194 G0URMAND& 

make an honourable mention of two corporations we 
saw in all their glory : we mean the Chevaliers and the 

How completely gourmand they were. Their ex- 
panded nostrils, their acute eyes, and coral lips could 
not be mistaken, neither could their gossiping tongue ; 
each class, however, ate in a peculiar manner. 

There was something military in the bearing of the 
Chevaliers. They ate their delicacies with dignity, 
worked calmly, and cast horizontal looks of approba- 
tion at both the master and mistress of the house. 

The Abb£s however, used to come to the table with 
more care, and reached out their hands as the cat 
snatches chestnuts from the fire. Their faces were all 
enjoyment, and there was a concentration about their 
looks more easy to conceive of, than to describe. 

As three-fourths of the present generation have seen 
nothing like either the Abbfes, or Chevaliers, and as it is 
necessary to understand them, to be able to appreciate 
many books written in the eighteenth century, we will 
borrow from the author of the Historical Treatise on 
Duels, a few pages which will fully satisfy all persons 
about this subject. (See Varieties, No. 20.) 


I am happy, I cannot be more so, to inform my 
readers that good cheer is far from being injurious, 
and that all things being equal, gourmands live longer 
than other people. This was proved by a scientific 


dissertation recently read at the academy, by Doctor 

He compares the different states of society, in which 
good cheer is attended to, with those where no atten- 
tion is paid to it, and has passed through every scale 
of the ladder. He has compared the various portions 
of Paris, in whioh people were more or less comfort- 
x able. All know that in this respect there is extreme 
difference, as for instance between the Faubourg St. 
Antoine and the Chauss£e d' Antin. 

The doctor extended his research to the depart- 
ments of France, and compared the most sterile and 
fertile together, and always obtained a general result 
in favor of the diminution of mortality, in proportion 
universally as the means of subsistence improve. 
Those who cannot well sustain themselves will be at 
least wise, to know that death will deliver them soon. 

The two extremes of this progression are, that in 
the most highly favored ranks of life but one individual 
in fifty dies, while of those who are poorer four do. 

Those who indulge in good cheer, are rarely, or 
never sick. Alas ! they often fall into the domain of 
the faculty, who call them good patients : as however 
they have no great degree of vitality, and all portions 
of their organization are better sustained, nature has 
more resources, and the body incomparably resists 

This physiological truth may be also sustained by 
history, which tells us that as often as impervious cir- 


cumstances, such as war, sieges, the derangement of 
seasons, etc., diminish the means of subsistence, such 
times have ever been accompanied by contagious dis- 
ease and a great increase of mortality. 

The idea of Lafarge would beyond a doubt have 
succeeded in Paris, if those who had advanced it had 
introduced into their calculations the truths developed 
by Doctor Villermet. 

They calculated mortality according to Buffoon's 
tables, and those of Parcicux and others, all of which 
were based on the aggregate of all classes and condi- 
tions. Those who made the estimate, however, forgot 
the dangers of infancy, indulged in general calcula- 
tions, and the speculation failed. 

This may not have been the only, but it was the 
principal cause. 

For this observation, we are indebted to the Profes- 
sor Pardessus. 

M. de Belloy, archbishop of Paris, had a slight ap- 
petite, but a very distinct one. He loved good cheer 
and I have often seen his patriarchal face lighten up 
at the appearance of any choice dish. Napoleon 
always on such occasions paid him deference and re- 



In the preceding chapter, we have seen that the dis- 
tinctive characteristics of those who have more preten- 
sion than right to the honors of gourmandise, consists 
in the fact, that, at the best spread table, their eyes 
are dull and their face inanimate. 

They are not worthy of having treasures, when they do 
not appreciate what is exhibited to them. It, however, 
was very interesting for us to point them out, and we 
have sought every where for information on so im- 
portant a matter, as who should be our guests and our 

We set about this with an anxiety which ensures 
success, and, in consequence of our perseverance, we 
are able to present to the corps of amphitryon, gas- 
tronomical tests, a discovery which will do honor to 
the nineteenth century. 

By gastronomical tests, we mean dishes of so delicious 
a flavor that their very appearance excites the gusta- 
tory organs of every healthy man. The consequence 
is, that all those who do not evince desire, and the 
17* '(W) 


radiancy of ecstasy, may very properly be set down 
as unworthy of the honours of the society and the 
pleasures attached to them. 

The method of tests duly deliberated on, and ex- 
amined in the great council, has been described in the 
golden book, in words of an unchangeable tongue, as 
follows : 

Uicumque ferculum, eximii et leni noti saporis 
appositum fuerit, fiat autopsia convivce ; et nisi fades 
ejus ac oculi vertantur ad ecstasim, notetur ut in- 

This was rendered into the vernacular, by the trans- 
lator of the grand council, as follows : 

" Whenever a dish of a distinguished and good flavor 
is served, the guests should be attentively watched, 
and those, the faces of whom do not express pleasure, 
should be marked as unworthy." 

Tests are relative, and should be proportioned to 
the various classes of society. All things considered, 
it should be arranged so as to create admiration and 
surprise. It is a dynameter, the power of which should 
increase as we ascend in society. The test for a 
householder in La Rue Coquenard, would not suit a 
second clerk, and would be unnoticed at the table of a 
financier, or a minister. 

In the enumeration of the dishes we think worthy 
of being considered as tests, we will begin at the low- 
est grade, and will gradually ascend so as to eluci- 
date the theory, so that all may not only use it with 



benefit, but also invent a new series calculated for the 
sphere in which they chance to be placed. 

We will now give a list of the dishes we think fit 
} to be served as tests ; we have divided them into three 

\ series of gradual ascents, following the order indi- 

cated above. 



A breast of veal baked in its own juice. 

A turkey stuffed with Lyons chestnuts. 

Baked pigeons. 

Eggs a la neige. 

Sourkrout, with sausages dressed with lard, fume 
de Strazburg, 

Expression. " Peste ; that looks well ; let us pay 
our devoirs to it." 


A filet de Iceuf piqut, and baked in its juice, with 

A quarter of Chevreuil. 

Turbot plain. 

A Turkey Truffiee. 

Petite pois. 

Exclamation. " My dear sir, this is pleasant in- 
deed !" 



A fowl weighing seven pounds, stuffed with truffles, 
so that it has become a spheroid. 

A patte perigord in the form of a bastion. 

A cask a la Chambord richly dressed and deco- 

A pike stuffed with craw-fish secundum artum. 

A pheasant dressed a la sainte alliance. 

Asparagus, large as possible, served up in osma- 

Two dozen ortolans a la provengale, as the dish is 
described in the Cook's Secretary. 

A pyramid of sweet meats, flavored with rose and 

Expression. " Monsieur, or Monseigneur, your cook 
is a man of mind. Such dishes we eat only at your 



Man of all the animals who live on the earth, is be- 
yond doubt, the one who experiences most suffering. 

Nature condemned him to suffering by robbing him 
of hair, by giving him such a peculiar formation of 
his feet, also by the instinct of destruction, and of war 
which has followed man every where. 

Animals have never been stricken with this curse, 
and with the exception of a few contests, caused by 
the instinct of reproduction, harm would be absolutely 
unknown to the lower animals of creation. Man, 
though he cannot appreciate pleasure except by a small 
number of organs, may yet be liable to intense agony. 

This decree of destiny was engraved by a crowd 
of maladies, which originated in the social system. 
The result is that the most intense pleasure one can 
imagine, cannot atone for certain pains, such as the 
gout, the tooth-ache, etc., acute rheumatisms, stric- 
tures, and many other diseases we might mention. 

This practical fear of pain has had the effect, that 
without even perceiving it, man has rushed into an 



opposite direction, and has devoted himself to the 
small number of pleasures nature has placed at his 


Meals, as we understand the word, began at the 
second stage of the history of humanity. That is to say 
as soon as we ceased to live on fruits alone. The pre- 
paration and distribution of food made the union of 
the family a necessity, at least once a day. The 
heads of families then distributed the produce of the 
chase, and grown children did as much for their pa- 

These collections, limited at first to near relations, 
were ultimately extended to neighbors and friends. 

At a later day when the human species was more 
widely extended, the weary traveler used to sit at 
such boards and tell what he had seen in foreign 
lands. Thus hospitality was produced, and its rights 
were recognized everywhere. There was never any 
one so ferocious as not to respect him who had par- 
taken of his bread and salt. 


Such from the nature of things, should be the ele- 
ments of the pleasures of the table which, where eating 
is a necessity, of course takes the precedence. 

The pleasure of eating is a peculiar sensation 
directed to the satisfaction of a necessity. 


The pleasures^ the table is a reflected sensation, 
originating in various facts, places, things and per- 

We share with animals in the pleasure of eating. 
They and we have hunger which must be satisfied. 

It is peculiar to the human race, for it supposes a 
predisposition for food, for the place of meeting, and 
for guests. 

The pleasures of the table exact, if not hunger, at 
least appetite. The table is often independent of both 
the one and the other. 

This we may see at every entertainment. 

At the first course every one eats and pays no atten- 
tion to conversation; all ranks and grades are forgotten 
together in the great manufacture of life. When, 
however, hunger begins to be satisfied, reflection be- 
gins, and conversation commences. The person who, 
hitherto, had been a mere consumer, becomes an ami- 
able guest, in proportion as the master of all things 
provides him with the means of gratification. 


The pleasures of the table afford neither ravishing 
pleasure, ecstasy, nor transport, but it gains in inten- 
sity what it loses in duration. It is the more valuable 
because it exposes us to all other gratifications and 
even consoles us for their loss. 

After a good dinner body and soul enjoy a peculiar 


Physically, as the brain becomes refreshed, the face 
lightens up, the colors become heightened, and a glow 
spreads over the whole system. 

Morally, the mind becomes sharpened, witticisms 
circulate. If La Farre and Saint Aulaire descend to 
posterity with the reputation of spiritual authors, they 
owe it especially to the fact that they were pleasant 

Besides, there are often found collected around the 
same table, all the modifications of society which 
extreme sociability has introduced among us: love, 
friendship, business, speculation, power, ambition, and 
intrigue, all enhance conviviality. Thus it is that it 
produces fruits of all imaginable flavors. 


An immediate consequence of all these antecedents 
is that human industry has toiled to augment the 
duration of the gratifications of the table. 

Poets complain that the throat is too short for the 
uses of degustation, and others lament the want of 
capacity of the stomach. Some even regret that 
digestion is accomplished in a single act and not 
divided into two. 

This was but an extreme effort to amplify the enjoy- 
ments of taste ; in this respect, however, it is impossi- 
ble to exceed the limits imposed by nature, and an 
appeal was made to accessories, which offered more 


Vases and goblets were crowned with flowers; 
crowns were distributed to the guests, and dinners 
served beneath the vault of heaven, in groves, and 
amid all the wonders of nature. 

Music and song were made to increase the pleasures 
of the table. Thus while the king of the Pheacians 
ate, the singer Phemius sang the praises of the wars 
and warriors of other days. 

Often dancers and pantomimists of both sexes, in 
all possible costumes, occupied the attention without 
injuring the pleasure of the meal. The most exquisite 
perfumes were diffused in the air, and guests were 
often waited on by unveiled beauty, so that every 
sense was appealed to. 

I might consume many pages in proving what I 
advance. The Greek authors and our old chroniclers 
only need to be copied. These researches, however, 
only need to be made to be evident, and my erudition 
would be of little value 

the 18th and 19th centuet. 

We have adopted to a greater or less degree various 
methods of enjoyment, and have, by new discoveries, 
somewhat enhanced the number. 

The delicacy of our tastes would not permit the 
vomitoria of the Romans to remain. We did better, 
however, and accomplished the same object in a more 
pleasant manner. 

Dishes of such an attractive flavor have been 


increased that they perpetually reproduce the appe- 
tite. They are so light that they flatter the appetite 
without loading the stomach. Seneca would have 
called them nubes esculentas. 

We have advanced so far in alimentation that if 
business called us from the table, or if it became 
necessary for us to sleep, the duration of the meal 
would have been almost indeterminable. 

One must not, however, believe that all of these 
accessories are indispensable to the pleasures of the 
table. Pleasure is enjoyed in almost all its extent 
when the following conditions are united : good cheer, 
good wine, a pleasant company, and time. 

I have often, therefore, wished to have been present 
at one of those pleasant repasts which Horace invited 
one of his neighbors to share, viz : a good chicken, a 
lamb (doubtless fat,) and as a desert, grapes, figs and 
nuts. Uniting these to wine, made when Manlius was 
consul, and the delicious conversation of the poet, I 
fancy I could have supped very pleasantly. 

At mihi cum longum post tempus venerat hospes 
Sive operum vacuo, longum conviva per imbrem 
Vioinus, bend erat non piscibus urbe petitis, 
Sed pullo atque hasdo, turn* pensilis uva secundas 
Et nux ornabat mensas, cum duplice ficu. 

Thus it was only yesterday I regaled six friends 
with a boiled leg of mutton and a kidney a YPontoise. 

* Le dessert se trouve prfccisement dlsignfc et distingul par 
l'adverbe turn et par les mots secundas mensas. 


They indulged in the pleasures of conversation so 
fully that they forgot that there were richer meats or 
better cooks. 

On the other hand, let persons make as much 
research as possible for good cheer ; there is no plea- 
sure at the table if the wine be bad, and the guests 
collected without care. Faces will then be sure to 
seem sad, and the meal will be eaten without con- 


But perhaps the impatient reader will ask how, in 
the year of grace 1825, can any table be spread which 
will unite all of these conditions ? 

I will answer this question. Be attentive, readers. 
Gasterea, the most attractive of the muses, inspires 
me. I will be as clear as an oracle, and my precepts 
will live for centuries : — 

" Let the number of guests never exceed twelve, so 
that the conversation may be general. 

" Let them be so chosen that their occupations may 
be varied, their tastes analogous, and that they may 
have such points of contact that introduction may be 

"Let the dining-room be furnished with luxury, 
the table clean, and the temperature of the room about 
16° Reaumur. 

" Let the men be intelligent, but not pedantic — and 
the women pretty, but not coquettes. 


" Let the dishes be of exquisite taste, bat few in 
number at the first course ; let those of the second be 
as pleasant and as highly perfumed as possible. 

" Let the coffee be hot, and let the master select 
his own wines. 

" Let the reception-room be large enough to permit 
those who cannot do v without the amusement, to make 
up a card party, and also for little coteries of conver- 

" Let the guests be retained by the pleasures of 
society, and by the hope that the evening will not pass 
without some ulterior enjoyment 

" The tea should not be too strong, the roast dishes 
should be loaded artistically, and the punch made 

"None should begin to retire before eleven o'clock, 
and at midnight all should have gone to bed. 

" If any one has been present at an entertainment 
uniting all these conditions, he may boast of having 
witnessed his own apotheosis. He will enjoy it the 
more, because many other apotheoses have been for- 
gotten or mistaken." 

I have said that the pleasure of the table, as I have 
described it, was susceptible of long duration, and I 
am about to prove it by the history of the longest 
meal I ever was present at. It is a bonbon I give the 
reader as a reward for patient attention to me. Here 
it is: — 

I had a family of kinsfolk in the Rue de Bac, con- 


Btituted as follows : a doctor, who was seventy-eight ; 
a captain, who was seventy-six ; and their sister, Jean- 
nette, who was sixty-four. I used to visit them some- 
times, and they always received me kindly. 

"Parbleu!" said Doctor Dubois, rising on his toes 
one day to tap me on the shoulder ; " you have a 
long time been bragging about your fondues, (eggs 
and cheese,) and you always make our mouths water. 
The captain and I will come to dine with you, and we 
will see what your famous dish is." (This took place 
about 1801.) "Willingly," said I, "and to enable 
you to see it in all its glory, I will cook it myself. I 
am delighted with your proposition, and wish you to 
come punctually at ten to-morrow." 

At the appointed time my guests came, clean shaved, 
and with their heads powdered. They were two little 
old men ; yet fresh, however, and well. 

They smiled with pleasure when they saw the table 
ready, set with three covers, and with two dozen 
oysters by each plate. 

At the two ends of the table were bottles of Sauterne, 
carefullly wiped, except the cork, which indicated that 
it had been long bottled. 

Alas ! I have gradually seen oysters disappear from 
breakfast, though they were once so common. They 
disappeared with the Abbes, who never ate less than a 
gross ; and the Chevaliers, who ate quite as many. I 
regret them but as a philosopher. If time modifies 


governments, how great must be its influence over 
simple usages. 

After the oysters, which were very good, grilled kid- 
neys, a pate of foie gras with truffles, and then the 

The elements had been put in a chafing-dish, and 
brought to the table with spirits of wine. I set at 
once to work, and my two cousins watched every 
motion I made. 

They were delighted, and asked for the recipe, 
which I promised, telling them two anecdotes, which 
the reader will perhaps meet with elsewhere. 

After the fondue we had the various fruits which 
were in season, and a cup of real mocha, made a la 
Du Helloy, which was then becoming fashionable. We 
ended with two kinds of liqueurs. 

Breakfast being over, I invited my two kinsmen to 
take a little exercise, and to accompany me through 
my lodgings, which are far from being elegant, and 
which my friends, in consequence of their size and 
splendor, prefer to the gilding and or molu of the 
reign of Louis XV. 

I showed them the original bust of my pretty cousin, 
Mme. Recarnier by Chinard, and her miniature by 
Augustin. They were so much pleased, that the Doc- 
tor kissed the latter with his thick lips, and the Captain 
took a liberty with the bust of the first, for which I 
reproved him. Were all the admirers of the original 
to do as he did, the bust would soon be in the condi- 


tion of the famous statue of St. Peter at Rome, which 
the kisses of pilgrims have worn awa y. 

I showed them afterwards, casts of old statuary, 
some pictures, which are not without merit, my guns, 
my musical instruments, and several fine editions of 
the French and foreign classics. 

They did not forget the kitchen in their voyage of 
discovery. I showed them my economical furnace, 
my turnspit by clock-work, my roasting apparatus, 
and my vaporiser. They were much surprised, as 
every thing in their house was done in the style of 
the regency. 

Just as we were about to enter the room, the clock 
struck two. "Peste !" said the Doctor, "the dinner 
time and Jeannette awaits us ; we must go, not because 
I wish to eat, but I must have my bowl of soup like 
Titus diem perdidi." "My dear Doctor," said I, 
" why go so far ? what is here ? Send some to my cou- 
sin and remain here, if you will, and accept my apology 
for a somewhat hasty dinner and you will delight me." 

There was an ocular consultation on the matter 
between the two brothers, and I at once sent a mes- 
senger to the Faubourg St. Germain. I also told my 
cook what I wished. After a time, in part with his 
own resources and from the neighboring restaurants, 
he served us up a very comfortable little dinner. 

It was a great gratification to me, to see the sang 
froid and quiet nerve with which my kinsmen sat 
down, unfolded their napkins and began. 


They met with two surprises which I did not an- 
ticipate ; I gave them parmeaan with soup, and a glass 
of dry Madeira. These two novelties had just been 
introduced by M. De Tallyrand, the first of our diplo- 
matists, to whom we are indebted for so many shrewd 
expressive words, and whom public attention has al- 
ways followed with marked interest even when he had 

Dinner passed very comfortably, and as far as the 
substantiate and the accessories were concerned, my 
friends were as agreeable as they were merry. 

After dinner, I proposed a game of piquet, which 
they refused, preferring, as the Captain said, il far 
niente of the Italians, and we sat around the fireplace. 

In spite of the pleasures of the far niente, I have 
often thought that nothing enlivens conversation more 
than any occupation which distracts but does not ab- 
sorb all coversation. 

Tea was a novelty to the French at that time. They 
however took it ; I made it in their presence, and they 
took it with greater pleasure, because, hitherto they 
had only looked on it as a remedy. 

Long observation had informed me, that one piece 
of complaisance ever brings on another, and that after 
one step there is no choice but to continue in the same 

"You will kill me," said the Doctor. "You will 
make me drunk," said the Captain. I made no reply, 
but rang for rum, sugar, and lemons. 


I made some punch, and while I was preparing 
some, excellent well buttered toast was also prepared. 

My cousins protested that they could not eat a 
morsel more ; but, as I was familliar with the attrac- 
tion of this simple preparation, I insisted, and the 
Captain having taken the first slice, I had no hesita- 
tion in ordering more. 

Time rolled on, and the clock was on the stroke of 
eight. " Let us go," said the worthies, " for we must 
eat a salad with our sister, who has not seen us to day." 

I did not object, and accompanied the two pleasant 
old men to their carriage, and saw them leave. 

Perhaps, the question may be asked, if their long 
visit did not annoy me. 

I answer, no. The attention of my guests was sus- 
tained by the preparation of the fondue, by their 
examination of my rooms, by a few novelties after 
dinner, by the tea, and especially by the punch, which 
was the best they had ever tasted. 

The Doctor, too, knew all the genealogy and his- 
tory of the people of Paris. The Captain had passed 
a portion of his life in Italy, either as a soldier or as 
envoy to the Court of Parma. I had travelled much, 
and conversation pursued its natural bent. Under 
such circumstances time could not but fly rapidly. 

On the next day, a letter from the Doctor informed 
me, that their little debauch had done them no harm, 
but that after a quiet night's rest, they awoke con- 
vinced that they could go over the whole matter again. 



Amid all the ciroamstances in life, when eating is 
considered valuable, one of the most agreeable is, 
doubtless, when there is a pause in the chase. It alone 
may be prolonged the most without ennui. 

After a few hours exercise, the most eager huntsman 
feels a necessity for rest. His face needs caressing 
by the morning breeze : he halts, however, not from 
necessity, but .by that instinctive impulse which tells 
him that his activity is not indefinite. 

Shade attracts him, the turf receives him, the mur- 
mur of the rivulet advises him to open the flask he 
has brought to revive himself with.* 

Thus placed, he takes out the little well baked 
loaves, uncovers the cold chicken some kind tand has 
placed in his havresack, and finds the piece of gray ere 
or roquefort, which is to represent a dessert. 

* For such purposes, I prefer white wine; it resists heat better 
than any other. 


"While he makes these preparations, he is accom- 
panied by the faithful animal God has created for 
him; co-operation has overcome distance. They are 
two friends, and the servant is at once happy and 
proud to be the guest of his master. 

It is an appetite equally unknown to the worldly 
and devotees: the first do not allow hunger time 
to come : the second never indulge in exercises which 
produce it. 

The repast being prepared, each has its portion ; 
why not sleep for a while ? Noon is an hour of rest 
for all creation. 

The pleasures are decuples by being shared with 
friends. In this case, a more abundant meal is 
brought in military chests now employed for both 
purposes. All speak of the prowess of one, the 
messes at the other, and of the anticipations of the 

What if one should come provided with one of those 
vases consecrated to Bacchus, where artificial cold 
ices the madrin, the strawberry, and pine-apple juice, 
those delicious flavors which spread through the whole 
system a luxury unknown to the profane. 

We have not, however, reached the last term of 
progression of pleasure. 


There are times when our wives, sisters, and con* 
sins are invited to share in these amusements. 


At the appointed hour, light carriages, prancing 
horses, etc., hearing ladies collect. The toilette of 
the ladies is half military, and half coquette. The 
professor mil, if he be observant, catch a glimpse of 
things not intended for his eye. 

The door of the carriages will soon be opened, and 
a glimpse will be had of pates de Perigord, the won- 
ders of Strasburg, the delicacies of d'Achard, and 
all that the best laboratories produce that is transport- 

They have not forgotten foaming champagne, a fit 
ornament for the hand of beauty. They sit on the 
grass — corks fly, all laugh, jest, and are happy. 
Appetite, this emenation of heaven, gives to the meal 
a vivacity foreign to the drawing-room, however well 
decorated it may be. 

All, however, must end ; the oldest person present 
gives the signal ; all arise, men take their guns, and 
the ladies their hats — all go, and the ladies disappear 
until night. 

I have hunted in the centre of France, and in the 
very depths of the departments. I have seen at the 
resting places carriage loads of women of radiant 
beauty, and others mounted on a modest ass, such 
as composes the fortunes of the people of Mont- 
morency. I have seen them first laugh at the incon- 
veniences of the mode of transportation, and then 
spread on the lawn a turkey, with transparent jelly, 
and a salad ready prepared. I have seen them dance 
around a fire lighted for the occasion, and have par- 


ticipated in the pleasures of this gypsy sport. I am 
sure so much attraction with so little luxury is never 
met with elsewhere. 

Les haltes de la chasse are a yet virgin subject 
which we have only touched, we leave the subject to 
any one who pleases to take a fancy to it 




We never see what we eat, says an old adage, 
except what we digest. 

How few, however, know what digestion is, though 
it is a necessity equalizing rich and poor, the shepherd 
and the king. 

The majority of persons who, like M. Jourdan, 
talked prose without knowing it, digest without know- 
ing how ; for them I make a popular history of diges- 
tion, being satisfied that M. Jourdan was much better 
satisfied when his master told him that he wrote prose. 

To be fully acquainted with digestion, one must 
know both its antecedents and consequents. 


Appetite, hunger, and thirst, warn us that the body 
needs restoration ; pain, that universal monitor, never 
ceases to torment us if we do not obey it. 

Then comes eating and drinking which are inges- 
tion, an operation which begins as soon as the food is 
in the mouth, and enters the oesophagus. 

(218 3 


Daring its passage, through a space of a few inches 
. much takes place. 

The teeth divide solid food, the glands which line 
the inside of the mouth moisten it, the tongue mingles 
the food, presses it against the palate so as to force 
out the juice, and then collects the elements in the 
centre of the mouth, after which, resting- on the lower 
jaw, it lifts up the central portion forming a kind of 
inclined plane to the lower portion of the mouth where 
they are received by the pharynx, which itself con- 
tracting, forces them into the oesophagus. 

One mouthful having thus been treated, a second 
is managed in the same way, and deglutition con- 
tinues until appetite informs us that it is time to stop. 
It is rarely, though, that it stops here, for as it is one 
of the attributes of man to drink without thirst, cooks 
have taught him to eat without hunger. 

To ensure every particle of food reaching the 
stomach, two dangers must' be avoided. 

It must not pass into the passage behind the nose, 
which luckily is covered by a veil. 

The second is that it must not enter the trachea. 
This is a serious danger, for any particle passing into 
the trachea, would cause a convulsive cough, which 
would last until it was expelled. 

An admirable mechanism, however, closes the glottis 
while we swallow, and we have a certain instinct which 
teaches us not to breathe during deglutition. In 
general, therefore, we may say, that in spite of this 

220 ON DrcfESTION. '" 

strange conformation, food passes easily into the 
stomach, where the exercise of the will ceases, and 
digestion begins. 


Digestion is a purely mechanical operation and the 
digestive apparatus, may be considered as a winnow- 
ing mill, the effect of which is, to extract all that is nu- 
tritious and to get rid of the chaff. 

The manner in which digestion is effcted has 
been so long a question for argument, and persons 
have sought to ascertain if it were effected by coction, 
fermentation, solution, chemical, or vital action. 

All of these modes have their influence, and the 
only error was that many causes w.ere sought to be 
attributed to one. 

In fact food impregnated by all fluids which fill the 
mouth and oesophagus, reaches the stomach where it is 
impregnated by the gastric juices, which always fill it. 
It is then subjected for several hours to a heat of 
30° Seaumer ; it is mingled by the organic motion 
of the stomach, which their presence excites. They 
act on each other by the effect of this juxtaposition 
and fermentation must take place. All that is nour- 
ishing ferments. * 

In consequence of all of these operations, chyle is 
elaborated and spread over the food, which then passes 
the pylorus and enters the intestines. Portion after 
portion succeeds until the stomach is empty, thus 
evacuating itself as it was filled. 


The pylorus is a kind of chamber between the 
stomach and the intestines, so constructed that food 
once in it can ascend only with great difficulty. This 
viscera is sometimes obstructed - when the sufferer, 
after long and intense agony, dies of hunger. 

The next intestine beyond the pylorus is the duode- 
num. It is so called because it is twelve fingers long. 

When chyle reaches the duodenum, it receives a 
new elaboration by being mingled with bile and the 
panchreatic juice. It loses the grey color and 
acidity it previously possessed, becomes yellow and 
commences to assume a stercoral odor, which increases 
as it advances to the rectum. The various substances 
act reciprocally on each other; there must, conse- 
quently, be many analagous gasses produced. 

The impulse which ejected chyle from the stomach, 
continues and forces the food towards the lower intes- 
tines, there the chyle separates itself and is absorbed 
by organs intended for the purpose, whence it pro- 
ceeds to the liver, to mingle with the blood, which it 
revives, and thus repairs the losses of the vital or- 
gans and of transpiration. 

It is difficult to explain how chyle, which is a light 
and almost insipid fluid, can be extracted from a mass, 
the color of which, and the taste, are so deeply pro- 

Be that as it may, the preparation of chyle appears 
to be the true object of digestion, and as soon as it 


mingles with the circulation, the individual becomes 
aware of a great increase of physical power. 

The digestion of fluids is less complicated than 
that of solids, and can be explained in a few words. 

The purely liquid portion is absorbed by the stom- 
ach, and thrown into circulation ; thence it is taken 
to the veins by the arteries and filtered by urethras,* 
which pass them as urine, to the bladder. 

When in this last receptacle, and though restrained 
by the spinchter muscle, the urine remains there but 
a brief time ; its exciting nature causes a desire to 
avoid it, and soon voluntary constriction emits it 
through canals, which common consent does not per- 
mit us to name. 

Digestion varies in the time it consumes, according 
to the temperament of individuals. The mean time, 
however, is seven hours, viz,, three hours for the 
stomach, and the rest of the time for the lower intes- 

From this exposS which I have selected from the 
most reliable authors, I have separated all anatomical 
rigidities, and scientific abstractions. My readers 
will thence be able to judge where the last meal they 
ate is : viz< y during the first three hours in the stom- 
ach, later in the intestinal canal, and after seven 
hours, awaiting expulsion. 

* These urethras are conduits of the size of a pea, which 
start from the kidneys, and end at the upper neck of the 



Of all corporeal operations, digestion is the one 
which has the closest connection with the moral con- 
dition of man. 

This assertion should amaze no one ; things cannot 
be otherwise. 

The principles of physiology tells us that the soul 
is liable to impressions only in proportion as the or- 
gans subjected to it have relation to external objects, 
whence it follows that when these organs are badly 
preserved, badly restored, or irritated, this state of 
degradation exerts a necessary influence on sensations, 
which are the intermediates of mental operations. 

Thus the habitual manner in which digestion is per- 
formed or affected, makes us either sad, gay, taciturn, 
gossiping morose or melancholy, without our being 
able to doubt the fact, or to resist it for a moment. 

In this respect, humanity may be arranged under 
three categories ; the regular, the reserved, and the 

Each of the persons who belong to each of the 
series, not only have similar dispositions, and propen- 
sities, but there is something analagous and similar in 
the manner in which they fulfill the mission from which 
chance during their lives has separated them. 

To exhibit an example, I will go into the vast field 
of literature. I think men of letters frequently owe 
all their characteristics to their peculiar mode of life. 


Comic poets must be of one kind, tragic poets of 
another, and elegiac, of the uncertain class. The 
most elegiac and the most comic are only separated 
by a variety of digestive functions. 

By an application of this principle to courage, 
when Prince Eugene of Savoy, was doing the greatest 
injury to France, some one said, "Ah, why can I 
not send him a pate de foie gras, three times a week 
I would make him the greatest sluggard of Europe." 

" Let us hurry our men into action, while a little 
beef is left in their bowels," said an English general. 

Digestion in the young is very often accompanied by 
a slight chill, and in the old, by a great wish to sleep. 

In the first case, nature extracts the colorio from 
the surface to use it in its laboratory. In the second, 
the same power debilitated by age cannot at once satisfy 
both digestion and the excitement of the senses. 

When digestion has just begun, it is dangerous to 
yield to a disposition for mental work. One of the 
greatest causes of mortality is, that some men after 
having dined, and perhaps too well dined, can neither 
close their eyes nor their ears. 

This observation contains a piece of advice, which 
should even attract the most careless youth, usually 
attentive to nothing. It should also arrest the atten- 
tion of grown men, who forget nothing, not even that 
time never pauses, and which is a penal law to those 
on the wrong side of fifty. 

Some persons are fretful while digestion is going on* 


At that time, nothing should be suggested to and no 
favors asked of them. 

Among these was marshal Augereau, who, during 
the first hour ufter dinner, slaughtered friends and 
enemies indiscriminately. 

I have heard it said, that there were two persons in 
the army, whom the general-in-chief always wished 
to have shot, the commissary-in-chief and the head of 
his general staff. They were both present. Cherin 
the chief of staff, talked back to him, and the com- 
missary, though he said nothing, did not think a bit 
the less. 

At that time, I was attached to his general staff, 
and always had a plate at his table. I used, however, 
to go thither rarely, being always afraid of his peri- 
odical outbreaks, and that he would send me to dinner 
to finish my digestion. 

I met him afterwards at Paris, and as he testified 
his regret that he had not seen, me oftener, I did not 
conceal the reason. We laughed over the matter and 
he confessed that I was not wrong. 

We were then at Offenbourg, and a complaint was 
made by the staff that we ate no game nor fish. 

This complaint was well founded, for it is a maxim, 
of public law, that the conquerors should always live 
at the expense of the conquered. On that very day 
I wrote a letter to the master of the forests to point 
out a remedy. 

This official was an old trooper, who doubtless was 


unwilling to treat us kindly lest we should take root 
in this territory. His answer was negative and eva- 
sive. The game keepers, afraid of our soldiers, had 
gone, the fishermen were insubordinate, the water 
muddy, etc. To all this, I said nothing, but I sent 
him ten grenadiers to be lodged and fed until further 

The remedy was effective ; for early on the next day 
after, I saw a heavily loaded wagon come. The game- 
keepers had come back, the fishermen were submissive ; 
we had gjame and fish enough to last for a week. 

We had kid, snipe, lark, pike, etc. 

When I received the offering, I freed the superin- 
tendent from his troublesome guests, and during the 
whole time we remained in that part of the country, 
we had nothing to complain of. 



Man is not made to enjoy an indefinite activity ; 
nature has destined him to a variable existence, and 
his perceptions must end after a certain time. This 
time of activity may be prolonged, by varying the 
nature of the perceptions to be experienced, and a con- 
tinuity of life brings about a desire for repose. 

Repose leads to sleep, and sleep produces dreams. 

Here we find ourselves on the very verge of hu- 
manity, for the man who sleeps is something more 
than a mere social being : the law protects, but does 
not command him. 

Here a very singular fact told me by Dom Duhaget, 
once prior of the Chartreuse convent of Pierre Chatel, x 
presents itself. 

Dom Duhaget was a member of a very good family 
in Gascogne, and had served with some distinction as 
a captain of infantry. He was a knight of St Louis. 
I never knew any one, the conversation of whom was 
more pleasant. 

"There was," said he, "before I went to Pierre 
Chatel, a monk of a very melancholy humor, whose 



character was very sombre, and who was looked upon 
as a somnambulist. 

" He used often to leave his cell, and when he went 
astray, people were forced to guide him back again. 
Many attempts had been made to cure him, but in vain. 

" One evening I had not gone to bed at the usual 
hour, but was in my office looking over several papers, 
when I saw this monk enter in a perfect state of som- 

" His eyes were open but fixed, and he was clad in 
the tunic in which he should have gone to bed, but he 
had a huge knife in his hand. 

" He came at once to my bed, the position of which 
he was familiar with, and after having felt my hand, 
struck three blows which penetrated the mattrass on 
which I laid. 

" As he passed in front of me his brows were knit, 
and I saw an expression of extreme gratification per- 
vadecThis face. 

" The light of two lamps on my desk made no impres- 
sion, and he returned as he had come, opening the 
doors which led to his cell, and I soon became satisfied 
that he had quietly gone to bed. 

"You may," said the Prior, "fancy my state after 
this terrible apparition ; I trembled at the danger I 
had escaped, and gave thanks to Providence. My emo- 
tion, however, was so great that during the balance of 
the night I could not sleep. 

" On the next day I sent for the somnambulist and 


asked him what he had dreamed of during the pre- 
ceding night. 

" When I asked the question he became troubled. 
' Father/ said he, ' I had so strange a dream that it 
really annoys me ; I fear almost to tell you for I am 
sure the devil has had his hand in it.' ' I order you to 
tell me/ said I, ' dreams are involuntary and this may 
only be an illusion. Speak sincerely to me.' * Father,* 
said he, 'I had scarcely gone to sleep when I dreamed 
that you had killed my mother, and when her bloody 
shadow appeared to demand vengeance, I hurried into 
your cell, and as I thought stabbed you. Not long 
after I arose, covered with perspiration, and thanked 
God that I had not committed the crime I had medi- 
tated.' 'It has been more nearly committed,' said I, 
with a kind voice, i than you think.' 

" I then told him what had passed, and pointed out 
to him the blows he had aimed at me. 

"He cast himself at my feet, and all in tears wept 
over the involuntary crime he had thought to commit, 
and besought me to inflict any penance I might think 

" 'No,' said I, *I will not punish you for an involun- 
tary act. Henceforth, though I excuse you from the 
service of the night, I inform you that your cell 
will be locked on the outside and never be opened 
except to permit you to attend to the first mass.' " 

If in this instance, from which a miracle only saved 
him, the Prior had been killed, the monk would not 



have suffered, for he would have committed a homicide 
not a murder. 


The general laws of the globe we inhabit have an 
influence on the human race. The alternatives of 
day and night are felt with certain varieties over the 
whole globe, but the result of all this is the indication 
of a season of quiet and repose. Probably we would 
not have been the same persons had we lived all our 
lives without any change of day or night. 

Be this as it may, when one has enjoyed for a 
certain length of time a plentitude of life a time 
comes when he can enjoy nothing ; his impressibility 
gradually decreases, and the effects on each of his 
senses are badly arranged. The organs are dull and 
the soul becomes obtuse. 

It is easy to see that we have had social man under 
consideration, surrounded by all the attractions of civi- 
lization. The necessity of this is peculiarly evident 
to all who are buried either in the studio, travel, as 
soldiers, or in any other manner. 

In repose our mother nature especially luxuriates. 

The man who really reposes, enjoys a happiness 
which is as general as it is indefinable ; his arms sink 
by their own weight, his fibres distend, his brain 
becomes refreshed, his senses become calm, and his 
sensations obtuse. He wishes for nothing, he does 
not reflect, a veil of gauze is spread before his eyes, 
and in a few moments he will* sink to sleep. 



Though some men be organized that they may be 
said not to sleep, yet the great necessity of the want 
of sleep is well defined as is hunger or thirst. The 
advanced sentinels of the army used often to sleep 
though they filled their eyes with snuff. 


Sleep is a physical condition, during which man 
separates himself from external objects by the inac- 
tivity of his senses, and has only a mechanical life. 

Sleep, like night, is preceded and followed by two 
twilights. The one leads to inertion, the other to 

Let us seek to elucidate these phenomena. 

When sleep begins, the organs of the senses fall 
almost into inactivity. Taste first disappears, then 
the sight and smell. The ear still is on the alert, and 
touch never slumbers. It ever warns us of danger to 
which the body is liable. 

Sleep is always preceded by a more or less volup- 
tuous sensation. The body yields to it with pleasure, 


232 6LBEP. 

being certain of a prompt restoration. The soul gives 
up to it with confidence, hoping that its means of 
action will be retempered. 

From the fact of their not appreciating this sensa- 
tion, savants of high rank have compared sleep to 
deatt^ which all living beings resist as much as possi- 
ble, and which even animals show a horror of. 

Like all pleasures, sleep becomes a passion. Per- 
sons have been known to sleep away three-quarters of 
their life. Like all other passions it then exerts the 
worst influences, producing idleness, indolence, sloth 
and death. 

The school of Salernum granted only seven hours 
to sleep without distinction to sex or age. This maxim 
was too severe, for more time is needed by children, 
and more should, from complaisance, be granted to 
women. Though whenever more than ten hours is 
passed in bed there is abuse. 

In the early hours of crepuscular sleep, will yet 
exists. We can rouse ourselves, and the eye has not 
yet lost all its power. Non omnibus dormio, said Me- 
cenes, and in this state more than one husband has ac- 
quired a sad certainty. Some ideas yet originate but are 
incoherent. There are doubtful lights, and see indis- 
tinct forms flit around. This condition does not last 
long, for sleep soon becomes absolute. 

What does the soul do in the interim*? It lives in 
itself, and like a pilot in a calm, like a mirror at night, 
a lute that no one touches, awakes new excitement. 

SLEEP. 2&3 

Some psycologists, among others the count of 
Redern, say that the soul always acts. The evidence 
is, that a man aroused from sleep always preserves a 
memory of his dreams. 

There is something in this observation, which de- 
serves verification. 

This state of annihilation, however, is of brief du- 
ration, never exceeding more than five or six hours : 
losses are gradually repaired, an obscure sense of ex- 
istence manifests itself, and the sleeper passes into 
the empire of dreams. 

20 ' 

. I 



Dreams are material impressions on the soul, with- 
out the intervention of external objects. 

These phenomena, so common in ordinary times, 
are yet little known. 

The fault resides with the* savants who did not allow 
us a sufficiently great number of instances. Time 
will however remedy this, and the double nature of 
man will be better known. 

In the present state of science, it must be taken for 
granted that there exists a fluid, subtle as it is power- 
ful, which transmits to the brain the impressions 
received by the senses. This excitement is the cause 
of ideas. 

Absolute sleep is the deperdition or inertia of this 

We must believe that the labors of digestion and 
assimulation do not ceaSe during sleep, but repair 
losses so that there is a time when the individual 
having already all the necessities of action is not ex- 
cited by external objects. 


DREAMS. 285 

Thus the nervous fluid — movable from its nature, 
passes to the brain, through the nervous conduits. It 
insinuates itself into the same places, and follows the 
old road. It produces the same, but less intense effects. 

I could easily ascertain the reason of this. When 
man is impressed by an external object, sensation is 
sudden, precise, and involuntary. The whole organ is 
in motion. When on the contrary, the same impres- 
sion is received in sleep, the posterior portion of the 
nerves only is in motion, and the sensation is in con- 
sequence, less distinct and positive. To make our- 
selves more easily understood, we will say that when 
the man is awake, the whole system is impressed, 
\ while in sleep, only that portion near the brain is 


We know, however, that in voluptuous dreams, na- 
ture is almost as much gratified as by our waking sen- 
sations ; there is, however, this difference in the organs, 
for each sex has all the elements of gratification. 

When the nervous fluid is taken to our brain, it is 
always collected in vats, so to say, intended for the use 
of one of our senses, and for that reason, a certain series 
of ideas, preferable to others, are aroused. Thus we 
see when the optic nerve is excited, and hear when 
those of the ear are moved. Let us here remark that 
taste and smell are rarely experienced in dreams. We 
dream of flowers, but not of their perfume ; we see a 


magnificently arranged table, but have no perception 
of the flavor of the dishes. 

This is a subject of enquiry worthy of the most 
distinguished science. We mean, to ascertain why 
certain senses are lost in sleep, while others preserve 
almost their full activity. No physiologist has ever 
taken care of this matter. 

Let us remark that the influences we are subject to 
when we sleep, are internal. Thus, sensual ideas are 
nothing after the anguish we suffer at a dream of the 
death of a loved child. At such moments we awake 
to find ourselves weeping bitterly. 


Whimsical as some of the ideas which visit us in 
dreams may be, we will on examination find they are 
either recollections, or combinations of memory. I 
am inclined to say that dreams are the memory of 

Their strangeness exists only in the oddity of asso- 
ciation which rejects all idea of law and of chronology, 
of propriety and time. No one, however, ever dreamed 
of any thing absolutely unknown to him. 

No one will be amazed at the strangeness of our 
dreanis, when we remember, . that, when awake, our 
senses are on the alert, and respectively rectify each 
other. When a man sleeps, however, every sensation 
is left to his own resources. 

I am inclined to compare these two conditions of the 

BREAMS. 237 

brain, to a piano at which some great musician sits, 
and who as he throws his fingers over the keys recalls 
some melody which he might harmonize if he use all 
his power. This comparison may be extended yet fur- 
ther, when we remember that reflection is to ideas, 
what harmony is to sounds ; that certain ideas contain 
others, as a principle sound contains the others which 
follow it, etc. etc. 


Having followed thus far a subject which is not 
without interest, I have come to the confines of the 
system of Dr. Gall who sustains the multiformity of 
the organs of the brain. 

I cannot go farther, nor pass the limits I have im- 
posed on myself: yet from the love of science, to 
which it may be seen I am no stranger, I cannot re- 
frain from making known two observations I made 
with care, and which are the more important, as many 
persons will be able to verify them. 


About 1790 there was in a little village called Gev- 
rin, in the arrondmement of Belley a very shrewd 
tradesman named Landot, who had amassed a very 
pretty fortune. 

All at once he was stricken with paralysis. The 
Doctors came to his assistance, and preserved his life, 
not however without loss, for all of his faculties espe- 

238 DllEAMS. 

cially memory was gone. He however got on well 
enough, resumed his appetite and was able to attend 
to his business. 

When seen to be in this state, all those with whom 
he ever had dealings, thought the time for his re- 
venge was come, and under the pretext of amusing 
him, offered all kinds of bargains, exchanges, etc. 
They found themselves mistaken, and had to relinquish 
their hopes. 

The old man had lost none of his commercial facul- 
ties. Though he forgot his own name and those of his 
servants, he was always familiar with the price-cur- 
rent, and knew the exact value of every acre and vine- 
yard in the vicinity. 

In this respect his judgment had been uninjured, and 
the consequence was, that many of the assailants were 
taken in their own snares. 


At Belley, there was a M. Chirol, who had served 
for a long time in the garde* du corps of Louis XV. 
and XVI. 

He had just sense enough for his profession, but he 
was passionately fond of all kinds of games, playing 
Thombre, piquet, whist, and any new game that from 
time to time might be introduced. 

M. Ghirol also became apopletic and fell into a state 
of almost absolute insensibility. Two things however 
were spared, his faculty for digestion, and his passion 
for play. 

DREAMS. 239 

He used to go every day to a house he had been 
used to frequent, sat in a corner and seemed to pay 
no attention to any thing that passed around him. 

When the time came to arrange the card parties, 
they used to invite him to take a hand. Then it 
became evident that the malady which had prostrated 
the majority of his faculties, had not affected his play. 
Not long before he died, M. Chirol gave a striking 
proof that this faculty was uninjured. 

There came to Belley, a banker from Paris, the 
name of whom I think was Delins. He had letters 
of introduction, he was a Parisian, and that was enough 
in a small city to induce all to seek to make his time 
pass agreeably as possible. 

Delins was a gourmand, and was fond of play. In 
one point of view he was' easily satisfied, for they used 
to keep him, every day, five or six hours at the table. 
It was difficult, however, to amuse his second faculty. 
He was fond of piquet and used to talk of six francs 
a fiche 9 far heavier play than we indulged in. 

To overcome this obstacle, a company was formed 
in which each one risked something. Some said that 
the people of Paris knew more than we ; and others 
that all Parisians were inclined to boasting. The 
company was however formed, and the game was 
assigned to M. Ghirol. 

When the Parisian banker saw the long pale face, 
and limping form opposed to him, he fancied at first, 
that he was the butt of joke : when, however, he saw 

240 DREAMS. 

the artistic manner with which the spectre handled the 
cards, he began to think he had an adversary worthy 
of him, for once. 

He was not slow in being convinced that the faculty 
yet existed, for not only in that, but in many other 
games was Delins so beaten that he had to pay more 
than six hundred francs to the company, which wag 
carefully divided. 


The consequences of these two observations are 
easily deduced. It seems clear that in each case, the 
blow which deranged the brain, had spared for a long 
time, that portion of the organ employed in commerce 
and in gaming. It had resisted it beyond doubt, be- 
cause exercise had given it great power, and because 
deeply worked impressions had exerted great influ- 
ence on it. 


Age has great influence on the nature of dreams. 

In infancy we dream of games, gardens, flowers, 
and other smiling objects ; at a later date, we dream 
of pleasure, love, battles, and marriages ; later still 
we dream of princely favors, of business, trouble and 
long departed pleasures. 


Certain strange phenomena accompany sleep and 
dreams. Their study may perhaps account for an- 

DREAMS. 241 

thropomania, and for this reason I record here, three 
observations, selected from a great many made by 
myself during the silence of night. 


I dreamed one night, that I had discovered a 
means to get rid of the laws of gravitation, so that 
it became as easy to ascend as descend, and that I 
could do either as I pleased. 

This estate seemed delicious to me ; perhaps many 
persons may have had similar dreams. One curious 
thing however, occurs to me, which I remember, I 
explained very distinctly to myself the means which 
led me to such a result, and they seemed so simple, 
that I was surprised I had not discovered it sooner. 

As I awoke, the whole explanation escaped my 
mind, but the conclusion remained ; since then, I will 
ever be persuaded of the truth of this observation. 


A few months ago while asleep I experienced a 
sensation of great gratification. It consisted in a 
kind of delicious tremor of all the organs of which 
my body was composed, a violet flame played over 
my brow. 

Lambere flamma comas, et oiroum tempore pasci. 

I think this physical state did not last more than 

. 21 

242 DREAMS. 

twenty seconds, and I awoke with a sensation of 
something of terror mingled with surprise. 

This sensation I can yet remember very distinctly, 
and from various observations have deduced the con- 
clusion that the limits of pleasure are not, as yet, 
either known or defined, and that we do not know 
how far the body may be beatified. I trust that in 
the course of a few centuries, physiology will explain 
these sensations and recall them at will, as sleep is 
produced by opium, and that posterity will be re- 
warded by them for the atrocious agony they often 
suffer from when sleeping. 

The proposition I have announced, to a degree is 
sustained by analogy, for I have already remarked 
th$t the power of harmony which procures us such 
acute enjoyments, was totally unknown to the Romans. 
This discovery is only about five hundred years old. 


In the year vin (1800,) I went to bed as usual and 
woke up about one, as I was in the habit of doing. 
\ found myself in a strange state of cerebral excite- 
ment, my preception was keen, my thoughts profound ; 
the sphere of my intelligence seemed increased, I 
sat up and my eyes were affected with a pale, vapor- 
ous, uncertain light, which, however, did not enable 
me to distinguish objects accurately. 

Did I only consult the crowd of ideas which suc- 
ceeded so rapidly, I might have fancied that this state 

DREAMS. 243 

lasted many hours; I am satisfied, however, that it 
did not last more than half an hour, an external acci- 
dent, unconnected with volition, however, aroused me 
from it, and I was recalled to the things of earth. 

When the luminous apparition disappeared, I be- 
came aware of a sense of dryness, and, in fact, re- 
gained my waking faculties. As I was now wide 
awake, my memory retained a portion of the ideas 
(indistinctly) which crossed my mind. 

The first ideas had time as their subject. It seemed 
to me that the past, present and future, became 
identical, were narrowed down to a point, so that it 
was as easy to look forward into the future, as 
back into the past. This is all I remember of this 
first intuition, which was almost effaced by subsequent 

Attention was then directed to the senses, which 
I followed in the order of their perfection, and fan- 
cying that those should be examined which were 
internal as well as external, I began, to follow them 

I found three, and almost four, when I fell again to 

1. Compassion is a sensation we feel about the heart 
when we see another suffer. 

2. Predilection is a feeling which attracts us not 
only to an object, but to all connected with it. 

8. Sympathy is the feeling which attracts two be- 
ings together. 

244 DREAMS. 

From the first aspect, one might believe that these 
two sentiments are one, and the same. They cannot, 
however, be confounded ; for predilection is not always 
reciprocal, while sympathy must be. 

While thinking of compassion, I was led to a deduc- 
tion I think very just, and which at another tiine I 
would have overlooked. It is the theory on which all 
legislation is founded. 


AUeri ne facias, quod tibi fieri non vis. 

Such is an idea of the state in which I was, and to 
enjoy it again, I would willingly relinquish a month 
of my life. 

In bed we sleep comfortably, in a horizontal posi- 
tion and with the head warm. Thoughts and ideas 
come quickly and abundantly; expressions follow, and 
as to write one has to get up, we take off the night 
cap and go to the desk. 

Things all at once seem to change. The examina- 
tion becomes cold, the thread of our ideas is broken ; 
we are forced to look with trouble, for what was found 
so easily, and we are often forced to postpone study 
to another day. 

All this is easily explained by the effect produced 
on the brain by a change of position. The influence 
of the physic and moral is here experienced. 

Following out this observation, I have perhaps gone 
rather far, but I have been induced to think that the 

DREAMS. 245 

excitability of oriental nations, was, in a manner, due 
to the fact, that, in obedience to the religion of Ma- 
homet, they used to keep the head warm, for a reason 
exactly contrary to that which induced all monastic 
legislators to enjoin shaven crowns. 




Whether man sleeps, eats, or dreams, he is yet sub- 
ject to the laws of nutrition and to gastronomy. 

Theory and experience, Loth admit that the quan- 
tity and quality of food have a great influence on our 
repose, rest, and dreams. 


A man who is badly fed, cannot bear for a long 
time, the fatigues of prolonged labor; his strength 
even abandons him, and to him rest is only loss of 

If his labor be mental, his ideas are crude and un- 
decided. Reflection contributes nothing to them, nor 
does judgment analyze them. The brain exhausts 
itself in vain efforts and the actor slumbers on the bat- 

I always thought that the suppers of Auteuil and 
those of the hotels of Rambouillet and Soissons, formed 
many of the authors of the reign of Louis XTV. 
Geoffrey was not far wrong when he characterised the 



authors of the latter part of the eighteenth century 
as eau sucree. That was their habitual beverage. 

According to these principles, I have examined the 
works of certain well known authors said to have been 
poor and suffering, and I never found any energy in 
them, except when they were stimulated by badly con- 
ceived envy. 

On the eve of his departure for Boulogne, the Em- 
peror Napoleon fasted for thirty hours, both with his 
council and with the various depositories of his power, 
without any refreshment other than two very brief 
meals, and a few cups of coffee. 

Brown, mentions an admiralty clerk, who, having 
lost his memorandum, without which he could not carry 
on his duty, passed fifty-two consecutive hours in pre- 
paring them again.* Withoutjdue regimen, he never 
could have borne the fatigue and sustained himself as 
follows : — At first, he drank water, then wine, and 
ultimately took opium. 

I met one day a courier, whom I had known in the 
army, on his way from Spain, whither he had been 
sent with a government dispatch. (Correo ganando 

He made the trip in twelve days, having halted only 
four hours in Madrid, to drink, a few glasses of wine, 
and to take some soup. This was all the nourishment 
he took during this long series of sleepless nights and 
fatigues. He said that more solid sustenance would 
have made it impossible for him to continue his journey. 



Diet has no trifling influence on sleep and dreams. 

A hungry man cannot sleep, for tlje pain he suf- 
fers keeps him awake. If weakness or exhaustion 
overcome him, his slumber is light, uneasy and broken. 

A person, however, who has eaten too much, sinks 
at once to sleep. If he dreams, he remembers no- 
thing of it, for the nervous fluid has been intercepted 
in the passages. He awakes quickly, and when 
awake is very sensible of the pains of digestion. 

We may then lay down, as a general rule, that 
coffee rejects sleep. Custom weakens and even causes 
this inconvenience entirely to disappear. Europeans, 
whenever they yield to it, always feel its power. Some 
food, however, gently invites sleep; such as that 
which contains milk, the whole family of letuces, 
etc., etc. 


Experience relying on a multitude of observations, 
has informed us that diet has an influence on dreams. 

In general, all stimulent food excites dreams, such 
as flock game, ducks, venison and hare. 

This quality is recognised in asparagus, celery, 
truffles, perfume, confectioneries and vanilla. 

It would be a great mistake to think that we should 
banish from our tables all somniferous articles. The 
dreams they produce are in general agreeable, light, 


and prolong our existence even when it is sus- 

There are persons to whom sleep is a life apart, 
and whose dreams are serial, so that they end in one 
night a dream begun on the night before. While 
asleep they distinguish faces they remember to have 
seen, but which they never met with in the real world, 


A person who reflects on his physical life and who 
does so according to the principles we develop, is the 
one whb prepares sagaciously for rest, sleep and 

He distributes his labor so that he never over-tasks 
himself, he lightens it and refreshes himself by brief 
intervals of rest, which relieve him, without interrupt- 
ing its continuity, sometimes a duty. 

If longer rest is required during the day, he in- 
dulges in it only in a sitting attitude ; he refuses sleep 
unless he be forced irresistibly to use it, and is careful 
not to make it habitual. 

When night brings about the hour of repose, he 
retires to an airy room, does not wrap himself up in 
curtains, which make him breathe the same air again 
and again, and never closes the blinds so that when 
he wakes he will meet with at least one ray of light. 

Ho rests in a bed with the head slightly higher 
than the feet. His pillow is of hair ; his night cap 
of cloth, and his breast unincumbered by a mass of 


coverings ; he is careful, however, to keep his foet 

He eats with discretion, and never refuses good and 
excellent cheer. He drinks prudently, even the best 
wine. At dessert he talks of gallantly more than of 
politics, makes more madrigals than epigrams. He 
takes his coffee, if it suits his constitution, and after- 
wards swallows a spoonful of liquor, though it be only 
to perfume his breath. He is, in all respects, a good 
guest, and yet never exceeds the limits of discretion. 

In this state, satisfied with himself and others, he 
lies down and sinks to sleep. Mysterious dreams 
then give an agreeable life ; he sees those he loves, 
indulges in his favorite occupations, and visits places 
which please him. 

Then he feels his slumber gradually pass away, and 
does not regret the time he has lost, because even in 
his sleep, he has enjoyed unmixed pleasure and an 
activity without a particle of fatigue. 



Were I a physician with a diploma, I would have 
written a whole book on obesity ; thus I would hare 
acquired a domicil in the domain of science, and 
would have had the double satisfaction of having, as 
patients, persons who were perfectly well, and of being 
besieged by the fairer portion of humanity. To have 
exactly fat enough, not a bit too much, or too little, 
is the great study of women of every rank and grade. 

What I have not done, some other person will do, 
and if he be learned and prudent, (and at the same 
time a good-fellow,) I foretell that he will have won- 
derful success. 

Exoriare aliquis nostris ex ossibus hoeres I 

In the intereim, I intend to prepare the way for 
him. A chapter on obesity is a necessary concomi- 
tant of a book which relates so exclusively to eating. 

Obesity is that state of greasy congestion in which 
without the sufferer being sick, the limbs gradually 
increadb in volume, and lose their form and harmony. 



One kind of obesity is restricted to the stomach, 
and I have never .observed it in women. Their fibres 
are generally softer, and when attacked with obesity 
nothing is spared. I call this variety of obesity gas- 
trophoria. Those attacked by it, I call gastrophorous. 
I belong to this category, yet, though my stomach is 
rather prominent, I have a round and well turned leg. 
My sinews are like those of an Arab horse. 

I always, however, looked on my stomach as a for- 
midable enemy: I gradually subdued it, but after a 
long contest. I am indebted for all this to a strife of 
thirty years. 

I will begin my treatise by an extract from a collec- 
tion of more than five hundred dialogues, which at 
various times I have had with persons menaced with 

An Obese. — What delicious bread ! where do you 
get it ? 

I. — From Limet, in the Rue Richelieu, baker to 
their Royal Highness, the Due d'Orleans, and the 
Prince de Conde. I took it from him because he was 
my neighbour, and have kept to him because he is the 
best bread maker in the world. 

Obese. — I will remember the address. I eat a 
great deal of bread, and with such as this could do 
without any dinner. 

Obese No. 2. — What are you about? You are eat- 
ing your soup, but set aside the Carolina rice it con- 
tains ! * 


I. — Ah : that it is a regimen I subject myself to. 

Obese. — It is a bad regimen. I am fond of rice 
pates and all such things. Nothing is more nour- 

An immense Obese. — Do me the favor to pass me 
the potatoes before you. They go so fast that I fear 
I shall not be in time. 

I. — There they are, sir. 

Obese. — But you will take some? There are 
enough for two, and after us the deluge. 

I. — Not I. I look on the potatoe as a great preser- 
vative against famine ; nothing, however, seems to me 
so pre-eminently fade. 

Obese. — That is a gastronomical heresy. Nothing 
is better than the potatoe ; I eat them in every way. 

An Obese Lady. — Be pleased to send me the Sois- 
sons haricots I see at the other end of the table. 

I. — {Having obeyed the order, hummed in a low 
tone, the well known air :) 

" Lea Soissonnais sont heureux, 
Lea haricots *ont chez eux." 

Obese. — Do not laugh : it is a real treasure for this 
country. Paris gains immensely by it. I will thank 
you to pass me the English peas. When young they 
are food fit for the gods. 

I. — Anathema on beans and peas. 

Obese. — Bab, for your anathema ; you talk as if 
you were a whole council. 



I. — {To another.) I congratulate you on'your good 
health, it seems to me that you have fattened some- 
what, since I last saw you. 

Obese. — I probably owe it to a change of diet. 

I. — How so ? 

Obese. — For some time I eat a rich soup for break- 
fast, and so thick that the spoon would stand up in it. 

I. — ( To another.) Madame, if I do not mistake, you 
will accept a portion of this charlotte f I will attack it. 

Obese. — No, sir. I have two things which I prefer. 
This gateau of rice and that Savoy biscuit — I am very 
fond of sweet things. 

I. — While they talk politics, madame, at the other 
end of the table, will you take a piece of this tourte 
a lafrangipanef 

Obese. — Yes; I like nothing better than pastry. 
We have a pastry-cook in our house as a lodger, and 
I think my daughter and I eat up all his rent. 

I. — {Looking at the daughter.) You both are bene- 
fitted by the diet. Your daughter is a fine looking 
young woman. 

Obese Lady. — Yes ; but there are persons who say 
she is too fat. 

I. — Ah ! those who do so are envious, etc., etc. 

By this and similar conversations I elucidate a theory 
I have formed about the human race, viz: Greasy 
corpulence always has, as its first cause, a diet with too 
much farinacious or feculent substance. I am sure 
the same regime will always have the same effect. 


Carniverous animals never become fat. One has 
only to look at the wolf, jackal, lion, eagle, etc. 

Herbiverous animals do not either become fat until 
age has made repose a necessity. They, however, 
fatten quickly when fed on potatoes, farinacious grain, 

Obesity is rarely met with among savage nations, 
or in that class of persons who eat to live, instead of 
living to eat. 


From the preceding observation, the causes of which 
any one may verify, it is easy to ascertain the princi- 
ple causes of obesity. 

The first is the nature of the individual. Almost 
all men are born with predispositions, the impress of 
which is borne by their faces. Of every hundred 
persons who die of diseases of the chest, ninety have 
dark hair, long faces and sharp noses. Of every 
hundred obese persons, ninety have short faces, blue 
eyes, and pug noses. 

Then there are beyond doubt persons predestined, 
to obesity, the digestive powers of whom elaborate a 
great quantity of grease. 

This physical fact, of the truth of which I am fully 
satisfied, exerts a most important influence on our 
manner of loqking at things. 

When we meet in society, a short, fat, rosy, short- 
nosed individual, with round limbs, short feet, etc., all 


pronounce her charming. Better informed than others, 
however, I anticipate the ravages which ten years will 
have effected on her, and sigh over evils which as yet 
do not exist. This anticipated compassion is a painful 
sentiment, and proves that a prescience of the future 
would only make man more unhappy. 

The second of the causes of obesity, is the fact that 
farinacious and feculaferous matter is the basis of our 
daily food. We have already said that all animals 
that live on farinaceous substances become fat ; man 
obeys the common law. 

The fecula is more prompt in its action when it is 
mingled with sugar. Sugar and grease are alike in 
containing large quantities of hydrogen, and are both 
inflammable. This combination is the more powerful, 
from the fact ^ that it flatters the taste, and, that we 
never eat sweet things until the appetite is already 
satisfied, so that we are forced to court the luxury of 
eating by every refinement of temptation. 

The fecula is not less fattening when in solution, as 
in beer, and other drinks of the same kind. The na- 
tions who indulge the most in them, are those who 
have the most huge stomachs. Some Parisian families 
who in 1817 drank beer habitually, because of the 
dearness of wine, were rewarded by a degree of embon- 
point, they would be glad to get rid of. 


Another cause of obesity is found in the prolonga- 
tion of sleep, and want of exercise. 


The human body repairs itself . much during sleep, 
and at the same time loses nothing, because muscular 
action is entirely suspended. The acquired superfluity 
must then be evaporated by exercise. 

Another consequence is, that persons who sleep 
soundly, always refuse every thing that looks the least 
like fatigue. The excess of assimilation is then borne 
away by the torrent of circulation. It takes posses- 
sion, by a process, the secret of which nature has 
reserved to herself, of some hundredths of hydrogen, 
and fat is formed to be deposited in the tubes of the 
cellular tissue. 


The last cause of obesity is excess of eating and 

There was justice in the assertion, that one of the 
privileges of the human race is to eat without hunger, 
and drink without thirst. Animals cannot have it, 
for it arises from reflection on the pleasures of the 
table, and a desire to prolong its duration. 

This double passion has been found wherever man 
exists. We know savages eat to the very acmfc of 
brutality, whenever they have an opportunity. 

Cosmopolites, as citizens of two hemispheres, we 
fancy ourselves at the very apoged of civilization, yet 
we are. sure we eat too much. 

This is not the case with the few, who from avarice 
or want of power, live alone. The first are delighted 



at the idea that they amasa money, and others dis- 
tressed that they do not. It is the case, however, with 
tho?e around us, for all, whether hosts or guests, offer 
and accept with complaisance. 

This cause, almost always present, acts differently, 
according to the constitution of individuals ; and in 
those who have badly organized stomachs, produces in- 
digestion, but not obesity. 


This one instance, which all Paris will remember. 

M. Lang had one of the most splendid establish- 
ments of the capital ; his table especially, was excel- 
lent, but his digestion was bad as his gourmandise was 
great. He did the honors with perfect taste, and ate 
with a resolution worthy of a better fate. 

All used to go on very well, till coffee was intro- 
duced, but the stomach soon refused the labor to which 
it had been subjected, and the unfortunate gastrono- 
mer was forced to throw himself on the sofa and re- 
main in agony until the next day, in expiation of the 
brief pleasure he had enjoyed. 

It is very strange that he never corrected this fault : 
as long as he lived, he was subjected to this alternative, 
yet the sufferings of the evening never had any influ- 
ence on the next days' meal. 

Persons with active digestion, fare as was described 
in the preceding article. All is digested, and what is 
not needed for nutrition is fixed and turned into fat. 

Others have a perpetual indigestion, and food is 

OBgSITT. 259 

passed without having left any nourishment Those 
who do not understand the matter, are amazed that so 
many good things do not produce a better effect. 

It may be seen that I do not go very minutely into the 
matter, for from our habits many secondary causes 
arise, due to our habits, condition, inclinations, plea- 
sures, etc. 

I leave all this to the successor I pointed out in the 
commencement of this work, and satisfy myself merely 
with the prelibation, the right of the first comer to 
every sacrifice. 

Intemperance has long attracted the attention of 
observers. Princes have made sumptuary laws, reli- 
gion has moralized for gourmandise, but, alas, a mouth- 
full less was never eaten, and the best of eating every 
day becomes more flourishing. 

I would perhaps be fortunate in the adoption of a 
new course, and in the exposition of the physical causes 
of obesity. Self-preservation would perhaps be more 
powerful than morals, or persuasive than reason, have 
more influence than laws, and I think the fair sex would 
open their eyes to the light. 


"Obesity has a lamentable influence on the two 
sexes, inasmuch as it is most injurious to strength and 

It lessens strength because it increases the weight 
to be moved, while the motive power is unchanged. 


It injures respiration, and makes all labor requiring 
prolonged muscular power impossible. 

Obesity destroys beauty by annihilating the har- 
mony of primitive proportions, for all the limbs do not 
proportionately fatten. 

It destroys beauty by filling up cavities nature's 
hand itself designed. 

Nothing is so common as to see faces, once very 
interesting, made common-place by obesity. 

The head of the last government did not escape 
this law. Towards the latter portion of his life, he 
(Napoleon) became bloated, and his eyes lost a great 
portion of their expression. 

Obesity produces a distaste for dancing, walking, 
riding, and an inaptitude for those amusements which 
require skill or agility. 

It also creates a disposition to certain diseases, such 
as apoplexy, plropsy, ulcers in the legs, and makes all 
diseases difficult to cure. 


I can remember no corpulent heroes except Marius 
and John Sobieski. 

Marius was short, and was about as broad as he was 
long. That probably frightened the Gimber who was 
about to kill him. 

The obesity of the King of Poland had nearly been 
fatal to him, for having stumbled on a squadron of 
Turkish cavalry, from which he had to fly, he would 


certainly have been massacred, if his aids had not 
sustained him, almost fainting from fatigue on his 
horse, while others generously sacrificed themselves to 
protect him. 

If I am not mistaken, the Due de Vendome, a 
worthy son of Henry IV M was also very corpulent. 
He died at an inn, deserted by all, and preserved con- 
sciousness just long enough to see a servant snatch 
away a pillow on which his head was resting. 

There are many instances of remarkable obesity. 
I will only speak, however, of my own observations. 

M. Bameau, a fellow student of mine and maire of 
Chaleur, - was about five feet two inches high, but 
weighed five hundred pounds. 

The Due de Luynes, beside whom I often sat, 
became enormous. Fat had effaced his handsome fea- 
tures, and he slept away the best portion of his life. 

The most remarkable case, though, I saw in New 
York, and many persons now in Paris will remember 
to have seen at the door of a cafe in Broadway, a 
person seated in an immense arm-chair, with legs 
stout enough to have sustained a church.* 

Edward was at least five feet ten inches, and was 
about eight feet (French) in circumference. His fin- 
gers were like those of the Roman Emperor, who used 

* Many persons in New York remember the person referred 
to. The translator has heard, that as late as 1815, he was 
frequently to be seen at the door of a house near where the 
Atheneum Hotel was. Brillat Savarin is said scarcely to 


to wear his wife's bracelets as rings. His arms and 
legs were nearly as thick as the waist of a man of 
medium size, and his feet were elephantine, covered 
by fat pendant from his legs. The fat on his cheek 
had weighed down his lower eye-lid, and three hanging 
chins made his face horrible to behold. 

He passed his life near a window, which looked out 
on the street and drank from time to time a glass of 
ale from a huge pitcher he kept by "his side. 

His strange appearance used to attract the attention 
of passers, whom he used always to put to flight by 
saying in a sepulchral tone "What are you staring at 
like wild cats ? Go about your business, you black- 
guards," etc. 

Having spoken to him one day, he told me that he 
was not at all annoyed and that if death did not inter- 
rupt him, he would be glad to live till the day of 

From the preceding, it appears that if obesity be 
not a disease, it is at least a very troublesome predis- 
position, into which we fall from our own fault. 

The result is, that we should all seek to preserve 
ourselves from it before we are attacked, and to cure 
ourselves when it befalls us. For the sake of the 
unfortunate we will examine what resources science 
presents us. 



I WILL begin by a fact which proves that courage is 
needed not only to prevent but to cure obesity. . 

M. Louis Greffulhe, whom his majesty afterwards 
honored with the title of count, came one morning to 
see me, saying that he had understood that I had paid 
great attention to obesity, and asked me for advice. 

" Monsieur," said I, " not being a doctor with a 
diploma, I might refuse you, but I will not, provided 
you give me your word of honor that for one month 
you will rigorously obey my directions." 

M. Greffulhe made the promise I required and gave 
me his hand. On the next day, I gave him my di- 
rections, the first article of which demanded that he 

* About twenty years ago I began a treatise, ex professo, on 
obesity. My readers must especially regret the preface which 
was of dramatic form. I averred to a physician that a fever 
is less dangerous than a law suit ; for the latter, after having 
made a man run, fatigue, and worry himself, etrips him of 
pleasure, money, and life. This is a statement which might be 
propagated as well as any other. 

( 263 ^ 


should at once get himself weighed, so that the result 
might he made mathematically. 

After a month he came to see me again, and spoke 
to me nearly thus : 

" Monsieur/' said he, " I followed your prescription 
as if my life depended on it, and during the month I am 
satisfied that I have lost three pounds and more ; but 
have for that purpose to violate all my tastes and 
habits so completely, that while I thank you for your 
advice I must decline to follow it, and await quietly 
the fate God ordains for me." 

I heard this resolution with pain. M.Greffulhe 
became every day fatter and subject to all the incon- 
veniences of extreme obesity, and died of suffocation 
when he was about forty. 


The cure of obesity should begin with three precepts 
of absolute theory, discretion in eating, moderation 
in sleep, and exercise on foot or horseback. 

These are the first resources presented to us by 
science. I, however, have little faith in them, for I 
know men and things enough to be aware that any 
prescription, not literally followed, has but a light 

Now, imprimus, it needs much courage to be able 
to leave the table hungry. As long as the wan* of 
food is felt, one mouthful makes the succeeding one 
more palatable, and in general as long as we are 


hungry, we eat in spite of doctors, though in that 
respect we follow their example. 

In the second place to ask obese persons to rise 
early is to stab them to the heart. They will tell you 
that their health will not suffer them, that when they 
rise early they are good for nothing all day. Women 
will plead exhaustion, will consent to sit up late, and 
wish to fatten on the morning's nap. They lose thus 
this resource. 

In the third place, riling as an exercise is expen- 
sive, and does not suit every rank and fortune. 

Propose this to a female patient and she will con- 
sent with joy, provided she have a gentle but active 
horse, a riding dress in the height of the fashion, and 
in the third place a squire who is young, good-tem- 
pered and handsome. It is difficult to fill these three 
requisites, and riding is thus given up. 

Exercise on foot is liable to many other objections. 
It is fatiguing, produces perspiration and pleurisy. 
Dust soils the shoes and stockings, and it is given up. 
If, too, the patient have the least headache, if a single 
shot, though no larger than the head of a pin, pierce 
the skin it is all charged' to the exercise. 

The consequence is that all who wish to diminish 
embonpoint should eat moderately, sleep little, and 
take as much exercise as possible, seeking to accom- 
plish the purpose in another manner. This method, 
based on the soundest principles of physics and chem- 
istry, consists in a diet suited to the effects sought for. 



Of all medical powers, diet is the most important, 
for it is constant by night and day, whether waking 
or sleeping. Its effect is renewed at every meal, 
and gradually exerts its influence on every portion of 
the individual. The antiobesic regimen is therefore 
indicated by the most common causes of the diseases, 
and by the fact that it has been shown that farina or 
fecula form fat in both men and animals. In the 
latter, the case is evident every day, and from it we 
may deduce the conclusion tbat obtaining from fari- 
naceous food will be beneficial. 

But my readers of both sexes will exclaim, " Oh 
my God, how cruel the professor is. He has at once 
. prescribed all we like, the white rolls of Limet, the 
biscuit of Achard, the cakes of . . . and all the 
good things made with sugar, eggs, and farina. He 
will spare neither potatoes nor macaroni. Who 
would have expected it from a man fond of everything 

" What is that ?" said I, putting on my stern look 
which I call up but once a year. "Well, eat and 
grow fat, become ugly, asthmatic, and die of melted 
fat. I will make a note of your case and you shall 
figure in my second edition. Ah ! I see, one phrase 
has overcome you, and you beg me to suspend the 
thunderbolt. Be easy, I will prescribe your diet and 
prove how much pleasure is in the grasp of one who 
lives to eat." 

"You like bread? well, eat barley-bread. The 


admirable Cadet de Vaux long ago extolled its vir- 
tues. It is not so nourishing and not so agreeable. 
The precept will then be more easily complied with. 
To be sure one should resist temptation. Remember 
this, which is a principle of sound morality. 

" You like soup ? Eat julienne then, with green 
vegetables, with cabbage and roots. I prohibit soup 
au pain, pates and purees. 

" Eat what you please at the first course except 
rice aux volaittes and the crust of path. Eat well, 
but circumspectly. 

" The second course will call for all your philoso- 
phy. Avoid everything farinacious, under whatever 
form it appears. Tou have yet the roasts, salads, 
and'herbacious vegetables. 

" Now for the dessert. This is a new danger, but 
if you have acted prudently so far, you may survive it. 
Avoid the head of the table, where things that are 
dangerous to you are most apt to appear. Do not 
look at either biscuits or macaronies ; you have fruits 
of all kinds, confitures and much else that you may 
safely indulge in, according to my principles. 

"After dinner I prescribe coffee, permit you 
liqueurs, and advise you to take tea and punch. 

" At breakfast barly-bread is a necessity, and take 
chocolate rather than coffee. I, however, permit strong 
cafe au lait. One canmot breakfast too soon. When 
we breakfast late, dinner time conges before your 
digestion is complete. You eat though, and eating 


without appetite is often a great cause of obesity, 
when we do so too often." 


So far I have, like a tender father, marked out a 
regimen which will prevent obesity. Let us add a 
few remarks about its cure. 

Drink every summer thirty bottles of Seltzer water, 
a large glass in the morning, two before breakfast 
and another at bed-time. Drink light white acid 
wines like those of Anjon. Avoid beer as you would 
the plague. Eat radishes, artichokes, asparagus, 
etc. Eat lamb and chicken in preference to other 
animal food ; eat only the crust of bread, and employ 
a doctor who follows my principles, and as soon as 
you begin you will find yourself fresher, prettier, and 
better in every respect. 

Having thus placed you ashore, I must point out 
the shoals, lest in excess or zeal, you overleap the 

The shoal I wish to point out is the habitual use 
made by some stupid people of acids, the bad effects 
of which experience has demonstrated. 


There is a current opinion among women, which 
every year causes the death of many young women r 
that acids, especially vinegar, are preventatives of obe- 



Beyond all doubts, acids have the effect of destroy- 
ing obesity, but they also destroy health and fresh- 
ness. Lemonade is of all acids the most harmless, 
but few stomachs can resist it long. 

The truth I wish to announce cannot be too public, 
and almost all of my readers can bring forward some 
fact to sustain it. 

I knew in 1776, at Dijon, a young lady of great 
beauty, to whom I was attached by bonds of friend- 
ship, great almost as those of love. One day when 
she had for some time gradually grown pale and thin 
(previously she had a delicious embonpoint) she told 
me in confidence that as her young friends had ridi- 
culed her for being too fat, she had, to counteract the 
tendency, been in the habit every day of drinking a 
large glass of vinaigre. 

I shuddered at the confession, and made every 
attempt to avoid the danger. I informed her mother 
of the state of things the next day, and as she adored 
her daughter, she was as much alarmed as I was. The 
doctors were sent for, but in vain, for before the cause 
of her malady was suspected, it was incurable and 

Thus, in consequence 'of having followed imprudent 
advice, our amiable Louise was led to the terrible con- 
dition of marasmus, and sank when scarcely eighteen 
years old, to sleep forever. 

She died casting longing looks towards a future, 
which to her would have no existence, and the idea 


that she had involuntarily attempted her own life, 
made her existence more prompt and painful. 

I have never seen any one else die ; she breathed 
her last in my arms, as I lifted her up to enable 
her to see the day. Eight days after her death, her 
broken hearted mother wished me to visit with her the 
remains of her daughter, and we saw an extatic ap- 
pearance which had not hitherto been visible. I was 
amazed, but extracted some consolation from the fact* 
This however is not strange, for Lavater tells of many 
such in his history of physiogomy. 


All antiobesic tendencies should be accompanied 
by a precaution I had forgotten. It consists in wear- 
ing night and day, a girdle to repress the stomach, by 
moderately clasping it. 

To cause the necessity of it to be perceived, we 
must remember that the vertebral column, forming one 
of the walls in the cavity containing the intestines, is 
firm and inflexible. Whence it follows, that the excess 
of weight which intestines acquire as soon as obesity 
causes them to deviate from the vertical line, rests on 
the envelopes which compose- the skin of the stomach. 
The latter being susceptible of almost infinite disten- 
tion, would be unable to replace themselves, when 
this effort diminishes, if they did not have a mechanical 
art, which, resting on the dorsal column, becomes an 
antagonist, and restores equilibrium. This belt has 


therefore the effect of preventing the intestines from 
yielding to their actual weight, and gives a power to con- 
tract when pressure is diminished. It should never 
be laid aside, or the benefit it exerts in the day will 
be destroyed in the night. It is not, however, in the 
least troublesome, and one soon becomes used to it. 

The belt also shows when we have eaten enough ; 
and it should be made with great care, and so con- 
trived as to diminish as the embonpoint decreases. 

One is not forced to wear it all life long, and it may 
be laid aside when the inconvenience is sufficiently 
reduced. A suitable diet however, should be main- 
tained. I have not worn it for six years. 


One substance I think decidedly antiobesic. Many 
observations have induced me to think so, yet I leave 
the matter in doubt, and submit it to physicians. 

This is quinquina. 

Ten or twelve persons that I know, have had long 
intermittent fevers; some were cured by old women's 
remedies, powders, etc. Others by the continued use 
of quinquina, which is always effective. 

All those persons of the same category, gradually 
regained their obesity. Those of the second, lost 
their embonpoint, a circumstance which leaves me to 
think the quinquina which produced the last result had 
the effect I speak of. 

Rational theory is not opposed to this deduction, 


for quinquina, exciting all the vital powers, may give 
the circulation an impetus which troubles all, and dissi- 
pates, the gas destined to become fat. It is also shown 
that quinquina contains a portion of tannin which is 
powerful enough to close the cells which contain grease. 
It is possible that these two effects sustain each other. 

These two ideas, the truth of which any one may 
understand, induce me to recommend quinquina to all 
those who wish to get rid of troublesome embonpoint. 
Thus dummodo annuerit in omni medicationh genere 
doctissimi Facultatisprofessores. I think that after the 
first month of any regimen, the person who wishes to 
get rid of fat, should take every day before breakfast, 
a glass of white wine, in which was placed a spoonful 
of coffee and red quinquina. Such are the means I 
suggest to overcome a very troublesome affection. I 
have accommodated them to human weakness and to 
our manners. 

In this respect the experimental truth is relied on, 
which teaches that in proportion as a regime is vigor- 
ous, it is dangerous, for he who does not follow it lit- 
erally, does not follow it all. 

Great efforts are rare, and if one wishes to be fol- 
lowed, men must be offered things vacile, if not agree- 



Thinness is the state of that individual, the muscular 
frame of whom is not filled up by strength, and who 
exhibits all angles of the long scaffolding. 


There are two kinds of thinness ; the first is the 
result of the primitive disposition of the body, and is 
accompanied by health, and a full use of the organic 
functions of the body. The second is caused by the 
fact that some of the organs are more defective than 
others, and give the individual an unhappy and^ mise- 
rable appearance. I once knew a young woman of 
moderate stature who only weighed sixty-five pounds. 


Thinness is a matter of no great trouble to men. 
They have no less strength, and are far more active* 



The father of the young woman I spoke of, though 
very thin, could seize a chair by his teeth and throw 
it over his head. 

It is, however, a terrible misfortune to women, to 
whom beauty is more important than life, and the 
beauty of whom consists in the roundness and grace- 
ful contour of their forms. The most careful toilette, 
the most, sublime needle-work, cannot hide certain 
deficiencies. It has been said that whenever a pin is 
taken from a thin woman, beautiful as she may be, 
she loses some charm. 

The thin have, therefore, no remedy, except from 
the interference of the faculty. The regimen must be so 
long, that the cure must be slow. 

Women, however, who are thin, and who have a 
good stomach, are found to be as susceptible of fat as 
chickens. A little time,- only, is necessary, for the 
stomach of chickens is comparatively smaller, and 
they cannot be submitted to as regular a diet as chick- 
ens are. 

This is the most gentle comparison which suggested 
itsfelf to me. I needed one, and ladies will excuse 
me for the reason for which I wrote this chapter. 


Nature varies its works, and has remedies for thin- 
ness, as it has for obesity. 

Persons intended to be thin are long drawn out. 
They have long hands and feet, legs thin, and the os 


doxigis retroceding. Their sides are strongly marked, 
their noses prominent, large mouths, sharp chins and 
brown hair. 

This is the general type, the individual elements 
may sometimes vary ; this however happens rarely. 

Thin people sometimetimes eat a great deal. All 
I ever eve^ talked with, confess that they digest badly „ 
That is the reason they remain thin. 

They are of every class and temperament. Some 
have nothing salient either in feature or in form. 
Their eyes are inexpressive, their lips pale, and every 
feature denotes a want of energy, weakness, and 
something like suffering. One might almost say they 
seemed to be incomplete, and that the torch of their 
lives had not been well lighted. 


All thin women wish to be fat ; this is a wish we 
have heard expressed a thousand times. To render, 
then, this last homage to the powerful sex, we seek to 
replace by folds of silk and cotton, exposed in fash- 
ion shops, to the great scandal of the severe, who 
turn aside, and look away from them, as they would 
from chimeras,' more carefully than if the reality pre- 
sented themselves to their eyes. 

The whole secret of embonpoint consists in a suita- 
ble diet. One need only eat and select suitable food. 

With this regimen, our disposition to sleep is almost 
unimportant. If you do not take exercise, you will 


be exposed to fatness. If you do, you will yet grow 

If you sleep much, you will grow fat, if you sleep 
little, your digestion will increase, and you will eat 

We have then only to speak of the manner they 
who wish to grow fat should live. This will riot be 
difficult, according to the many directions we have 
laid down. 

To resolve this problem, we must offer to the stom- 
ach food which occupies, but does not fatigue it, and 
displays to the assimilant power, things they can turn 
into fat. 

Let us seek to trace out the daily diet of a sylph, 
or a sylph disposed to materialize itself. 

General rule. Much fresh bread will be eaten 
during the day, and particular care will be taken 
not to throw away the crumbs. 

Before eight in the morning, soup au pain or aux 
pates will be taken, and afterwards a cup of good 

At eleven o'clock, breakfast on fresh broiled eggs, 
petit path cbtelettes, and what you please ; have eggs, 
coffee will do no harm. 

Dinner hour should be so arranged that one should 
have thoroughly digested before the time comes to sit 
down at the table. The eating of one meal before 
another is digested, is an abuse. 

After dinner there should be some exercise ; men 


as much as they can ; women should go into the Tuil- 
leries, or as they say in America, go shopping. We 
are satisfied that the little gossip and conversation 
they maintain is very healthful. 

At times, all should take as much soup, potage, 
fish, etc., and also meat cooked with rice and maca- 
ronies, pastry, creams, etc. 

At dessert such persons should eat Savoy biscuits, 
and other things made up of eggs, fecula, and 

This regimen, though apparently circumscribed, is 
yet susceptible of great variety : it admits the whole 
animal kingdom, and great care is necessarily taken 
in the seasoning and preparation of the food presented. 
The object of this is to prevent disgust, which prevents 
any amelioration. 

Beer should be preferred — if not beer, wines from 
Bourdeaux or from the south of France. 

One should avoid all acids, except salads. As 
much sugar as possible should be put on fruits and all 
should avoid cold baths. One should seek as long as 
possible, to breathe the pure country air, eat many 
grapes when they are in season, and never go to the 
ball for the mere pleasure of dancing. 

Ordinarily one should go to bed about eleven, P. M., 
and never, under any circumstances, sit up more than 
an hour later. 

Following this regime resolutely, all the distractions 
of nature will soon be repaired. Health and beauty 



will both be advanced, and accents of gratitude will 
ring in the ears of the professor. 

Sheep are fattened, as are oxen, lobsters and oysters. 
Hence, I deduce the general maxim ; viz : " He that 
eats may be made fat, provided that the food be 
chosen correctly, and according to the physiology of 
the animal to be fattened." . 



Fasting is a moral abstinence from food, from some 
religious or moral influence. 

Though contrary to our tastes and habits, it is yet 
of the greatest antiquity. 


Authors explain the matter thus : 

In individual troubles, when a father, mother, 
or beloved child have died, all the household is in 
mourning. The body is washed, perfumed, enbalmed, 
and buried as it should be — none then think of eating, 
but all fast. 

In public calamites, when a general drought appears, 
and cruel wars, or contagious maladies come, we hum- 
ble ourselves before the power that sent them, and 
mortify ourselves by abstinence. Misfortune ceases. 
We become satisfied that the reason was that we fasted, 
and we continue to have reference to such conjectures. 

Thus it is, men afflicted with public calamities or 



private ones, always yield to sadness, fail to take food, 
and in the end, make a voluntary act, a religions one. 

They fancied they should macerate their body when 
their soul was oppressed, that they could excite the 
pity of the gods. This idea seized on all nations and 
filled them with the idea of mourning, prayers, sacri- 
fice, abstinence, mortification, etc. 

Christ came and sanctified fasting. All christian 
sects since then have adopted fasting more or less, as 
an obligation. 


The practice of fasting, I am sorry to say, has be- 
come very rare; and whether for the education of the 
wicked, or for their conversion, I am glad to tell how 
we fast now in the xviii. century. 

Ordinarily we breakfast before nine o'clock, on 
bread, cheese, fruit and cold meats. 

Between one and two P. M., we take soup or pot au 
feu according to our positions. 

About four, there is a little lunch kept up for the 
benefit of those people who belong to other ages, and 
for children. 

About eight there was a regular supper, with en- 
tries roti entremeti destert: all shared in it, and 
then went to bed. 

In Paris there are always more magnificent suppers, 
which begin just after the play. The persons who 
usually attend them are pretty women, admirable 
actresses, financiers, and men about town. 


There the events of the day were talked of, the last 
new song was sung, and politics, literature, etc., were 
discussed. All persons devoted themselves especially 
to making love. 

Let us see what was done on fast days : 

No body breakfasted, and therefore all were more 
hungry than usual. 

All dined as well as possible, but fish and vegeta- 
bles are soon gone through with. At five o'clock all 
were furiously hungry, looked at their watches and 
became enraged, though they were securing their 
soul's salvation. 

At eight o'clock they had not a good supper, but 
a collation, a word derived from cloister, because 
at the end of th^ day the monks used to assemble to 
comment on the works of the fathers, after which they 
were allowed a glass of wine. 

Neither butter, eggs, nor any thing animal was 
served at these collations. They had to be satisfied 
with salads, confitures, and meats, a very unsatisfactory 
food to such appetites at that time. They went to bed, 
however, and lived in hope as long as the fast lasted. 

Those who ate these little suppers, I am assured, 
never fasted. 

The chef-d'ceuvre of a kitchen of those days, I am 
assured, was a strictly apostolic collation, which, 
however, was very like a good supper. 

Science soon resolved this problem by the recogni- 
tion of fish, soups, and pastry made with oil. 


The observing of fasting, gave rise to an unknown 
pleasure, that of the Easter celebration. 

A close observation shows that the elements of our 
enjoyment are, difficult privation, desire and gratifica- 
tion. All of these are found in the breaking of ab- 
stinence. I have seen two of my grand uncles, v$ry 
excellent men, too, almost faint with pleasure, when, 
on the day after Easter, they saw a ham, or a pate 
brought on the table. A degenerate race like the 
present, experiences no such sensation. 


I witnessed the rise of this. It advanced by al- 
most insensible degrees. 

Young persons of a certain' age, ^ere not forced to 
fast, nor were pregnant women, or those who thought 
themselves so. When in that condition, a soup, a 
very great temptation to those who were well, was 
served to them. 

Then people began to find out that fasting disagreed 
with them, and kept them awake. All the little acci- 
dents man is subject to, were then attributed to it, so 
that people did not fast, because they thought them- 
selves sick, or that they would be so. Collations thus 
gradually became rarer. 

This was not all ; some winters were so severe that 
people began to fear a scarcity of vegetables, and the 
ecclesiastical power officially relaxed its rigor. 

The duty, however, was recognised and permission 


was always asked. The priests were refused it, but 
enjoined the necessity of extra alms giving. 

The Revolution came, which occupied the minds of 
all, that none thought of priests, who were looked on 
as enemies to the state. 

This cause does not exist, but a new one has inter- 
vened. The hour of our meals is totally changed; 
we do not eat so often, and a totally different house- 
hold arrangement would be required for fasting. This 
is so true, that I think I may safely say, though I 
visit none but the best regulated houses, that, except 
at home, I have not seen a lenten table, or a collation 
ten times in twenty-five years. 

We will not finish this chapter without observing 
the new direction popular taste has taken. 

Thousands of men, who, forty years ago would have 
passed their evenings in cabarets, now pass them at 
the theatres. 

Economy, certainly does not gain by this, but moral- 
ity does. Manners are improved at the play, and at 
cafes one sees the journals. One certainly escapes 
the quarrels, diseases, and degradation, which infal- 
libly result from the habit of frequenting cabarets. 



By exhaustion, a state of weakness, languor or de- 
pression, caused by previous circumstances is under- 
stood, rendering the exercise of the vital functions more 
difficult. There are various kinds of exhaustion, 
caused by mental labor, bodily toil and the abuse of 
certain faculties. 

One great remedy is to lay aside the acts which 
have produced this state, which, if not a disease, 
approximates closely to one. 


After these indispensable preliminaries, gastronomy 
is ready with its resources. 

When a man is overcome by too long fatigue, it 
offers him a good soup, generous wine, flesh and sleep. 

To a savant led into debility by a too great exercise 
of his mental faculties, it prescribes fresh air, a bath, 
fowl and vegetables. 

The following observation will explain how I effected 
a cure of another kind of exhaustion. 



[The translator thinks it best not to translate this 
anecdote, but merely to append the original.] 


Jallai un jour /aire visite a un de mes meilleurs 
amis (M. Rubat) ; on me dit qvHil Stait malade, et ef* 
fectivement je le trouvai en robe de ehambre aupris de 
son feu, et en attitude d'affaissement. 

Sa physionomie m'effraya : il avait le visage pale, 
les yeux brillants et sa Xevre tombait de manure a 
laisser voir les dents de la mdchoire infirieure, ce qui 
avait quelque chose de hideux. 

Je m'enquis avec interet de la cause de ce change- 
ment subit ; U hesita, je le pressai, et aprfo quelque re- 
sistance : " Mon ami, dit-il en rougissant, tu sais que 
ma femme est jahuse, et que cette manie m'a fait 
passer Hen des mauvais moments. Depuis quelques 
jours, il lui en a pris une crise effroyable, et c f est en 
voulant lui prouver quelle n'a rien perdu de mon 
affection et qviil ne se fait h son prejudice aucune 
derivation du tribut conjugal, que je me suis mis en 
cet Stat. — Tu as done oubliS, lui dis-je, et que tu as 
quarante-cinq ans, et que la jalousie est un mal sans 
remedet Ne sais-tu pas fur ens quid femina possit ?" 
Je tins encore quelques autres propos peu galants, car 
j'itais en coUre. 

" Voyons, au surplus, c<mtinuai-je : ton pouls est 
petit, dur, concentre ; que vas-tufaire t — Le docteur, 
me dit-il, sort d'ici; il a pemS que f avait unefievre 


nerveuse, et a ordonni une saignee pour laquelle il 
doit incessamment m'envoyer le chirurgien. — Le chir 
rurgien ! rriecriairje, garde-t'en bien, ou tu es mort ; 
chasse-le eomme un meurtrier, et dis lui que je me 
suis emparS de toi, corps et ame. Au surplus, ton 
medecm connait-il la cause occasionnelle de ton mal f 
— Hilas ! non, une mauvaise honte iria empeche de 
lui faire une confession entiere. — Eh Men, ilfaut le 
prier de passer cher tot Je vais te faire une potion ap- 
proprUe h ton Stat; en attendant prends ceci" Je 
lui presentai un verre cCeau saturie de sucre, qu'il 
avala avec la confiance d' Alexandre et lafoi du char- 

Mors je le quittai et counts chez moipour y mix- 
tionner, fonctumner et ^laborer un magister repara- 
teur quon trouvera dans les Varietes, avec Us divers 
modes que j 'adoptai pour me hater; car, en pareilcas, 
quelques heures de retard peuvent donner lieu a des 
accidents irreparables. 

Je revins bientdt arm£ de ma potion, et deja je trou- 
vai du mieux ; la couleur reparaissait aux joues, Vceil 
etait detendu ; mais la Uvre pendait toujours avec une 
effrayante difformite. 

Le medecin ne tarda pas a reparaitre ; je Vinstrui- 
sis de ce que favais fait et le malade fit ses aveux. 
Son front doctoral prit d'abord un aspect sSvere ; mais 
bientot nous regardant avec un air ou il y avait unpen 
cTironie : " Vous ne devez pas etre etonnS, dit-il ct 
mon ami, que je n 9 aie pas devine une maladie qui ne 


convient ni a votre age ni a votre Hot, et il y a de 
votre part trop de modestie a en cacher la cause, qui 
ne pouvait que vous faire honneur. tTai encore a 
vous gronder de ce que vous m'avez exposS ct une 
erreur qui aurait pu vous etre funeste. Au surplus, 
mon confrere, ajouta-til en me faisant un salut que je 
lui rendis avec usure, vous a indique la bonne route ; 
prenez son potage, quel que soit le nom qu'il y donne 9 
et si lafievre vous quitte, comme je le crois, dijeunez 
demain avec une tasse de ckocolat dans laqueUe vous 
ferez delayer deux jaunes oV aufs frais" 

A ces mots il prit sa canne, son chapeau et nous 
quitta, nous laissant fort tentSs de nous egayer a Be* 

Bientot je fis prendre a mon malade une forte tasse 
de mon elixir de vie ; il le but avec avidity et voulait 
redoubler ; mais j'exigeai un ajournement de deux 
heures, et lui servis une seconde dose avant de me re- 

Le lendemain il Stait sans fikvre et presque Men 
portant; il dejeuna suivant Tordonnance, continua 
la potion, et put vaquer des le surlendemain a ses oc- 
cupations ordinaires; mais la levre rebellene sereleva 
qu'aprh le troisieme jour. 

Peu de temps apres, V affaire transpira, et toutes Us 
dames en chuchotaient entre elles. 

Quelques-unes admiraient mon ami, presque toutes 
le plaignaient, et leprofesseur gastronome fut glorijti. 


Omnia mors poscit ; lex est, non poena, perire. 

God has subjected man to six great necessities : birth, 
action, eating, sleep, reproduction and death. 

Death is the absolute interruption of the sensual 
relations, and the absolute annihilation of the vital 
powers, which abandons the body to to the laws of 

These necessities are ail accompanied and softened 
by a sensation of pleasure, and, even death, when 
natural, is not without charms. We mean when a man 
has passed through the different phases of growth, 
virility, old age, and decrepitude. 

Had I not determined to make this chapter very 
short, I would invoke the assistance of the physicians, 
who have observed every shade of the transition of 
a living to an inert body. I would quote philosophers, 
kings, men of letters, men, who while on the verge of 
eternity, had pleasant thoughts they decked in the 
graces ; I would recall the dying answer of Fontinelle, 


DEATH. 289 

who being asked what he felt, said, " nothing but the 
pain of life ;" I prefer, however, merely to express my 
opinion, founded on analogy as sustained by many in- 
stances, of which the following is the last : 

I had a great aunt, aged eighty-three when she 

died. Though she had long been confined to her bed, 

she preserved all her faculties, and the approach of 

t death was perceived by the feebleness of her voice 

and the failing of her appetite. 

She had always exhibited great devotion to me, and 
I sat by her bed-side anxious to attend on her. This, 
however, did not prevent my observing her with most 
philosophic attention. 

"Are you there, nephew?" said she in an almost 
inaudible voice. " Yes, aunt ! I think you would be 
better if you would take a little old wine." " Give it 
to me, liquids always run down." I hastened to lift 
her up and gave her half a glass of my best and oldest 
wine. She revived for a moment and said, " I thank 
you. If you live as long as I have lived, you will 
find that death like sleep is a necessity." 

These were her last words, and in half an hour she 
had sank to sleep forever. 

Richerand has described with so much truth the 
gradations of the human body, and the last moments 
of the individual that my readers will be obliged to me 
for this passage. 

" Thus the intellectual faculties are decomposed and 
pass away. Reason the attribute of which man pre- 


290 DEATH. 

tends to be the exclusive possessor, first deserts him. 
He then loses the power of combining his judgment, 
and soon after that of comparing, assembling, com- 
bining, and joining together many ideas. They say 
then that the invalid loses his mind, that he is deli- 
rious. All this usually rests on ideas familiar to the 
individual. The dominant passion is easily recognized. | 

The miser talks most wildly about his treasures, and 
another person is besieged by religious terrors. 

After reasoning and judgment, the faculty of asso- 
ciation becomes lost. This takes place ill the cases 
known as defaillances, to which I have myself been 
liable. I was once talking with a friend and met with 
an insurmountable difficulty in combining two ideas 
from which I wished to make up an opinion. The syn- 
copy was not, however, complete, for memory and 
sensation remained. I heard the persons around me 
say distinctly he is fainting, and sought to arouse me 
from this condition, which was not without pleasure. 

" Memory then becomes extinct. The patient, who 
in his delirium, recognized his friends, now fails even 
to know those with whom he had been on terms of the 
greates intimacy. He then loses sensation, but the 
senses go out in a successive and determinate order. 
Taste and smell give no evidence of their existence, 
the eyes become covered with a mistful veil and the ear 
ceases to execute its functions. For that reason, the 
ancients to be sure of the reality of death, used to utter 
loud cries in the ears of the dying. He neither tastes, 

DEATH. 291 

sees, nor hears. He yet retains the sense of touch, 
moves in his bed, changes the position of the arms 
and body every moment, and has motions analogous 
to those of the foetus in the womb. Death affects him 
with no terror, for he h^s no ideas, and he ends as he 
begun life, unconsciously. ,, (Richerand's Elements on 
PhyMogg, vol. ii.p. 600.) 



Cookery is the most ancient of arts, for Adam most 
have been born hungry, and the cries of the infant 
are only soothed by the mother's breast. 

Of all the arts it is the one which has rendered the 
greatest service in civil life. The necessities of the 
kitchen taught us the use of fire, by which man has 
subdued nature. 

Looking carefully at things, three kinds of cuisine 
may be discovered. 

The first has preserved its primitive name. 

The second analyzes and looks after elements : it 
is called chemistry. 

The third, is the cookery of separation and is 
called pharmacy. 

Though different objects, they are all united by the 
fact that they use fire, furnaces, etc., at the same time. 

Thus a morsel of beef, which the cook converts into 
potage or bouilli y the chemist uses to ascertain into 
how many substances it may be resolved. 

( 292 ) 


Man is an omnivorous animal : he has incisors to 
divide fruits, molar teeth to crush grain, and canine 
teeth for flesh. Let it be remarked however, that as 
man approaches the savage state, the canine teeth are 
more easily distinguishable. 

The probability was, that the human race for a long 
time, lived on fruit, for it is the most ancient food of 
the human race, and his means of attack until he had 
acquired the use of arms are very limited. The instinct 
of perfection attached to his nature, however, soon 
became developed, and the sentiment attached to his 
instinct was soon exhibited, and he made weapons for 
himself. To this he was impelled by a cavniverous 
instinct, and he began to make prey of the animals that 
surrounded him. 

This instinct of destruction yet exists: children 
always kill the animals that surround them, and if 
they were hungry would devour them. 

It is not strange that man seeks to feed on flesh : 
He has too small a stomach, and fruit has not nourish- 
ment enough to renovate him. He could subsist on 
vegetables, but their preparation requires an art, only 
reached after the lapse of many centuries. 

Man's first weapons were the branches of trees, and 
subsequently bows and arrows. 

It is worthy of remark, that wherever we find man, 
in all climates and latitudes, he has been found with 
bows and arrows. None can see how this idea pre- 



sented itself to individuals so differently placed: it 
must be hidden by the veil of centuries. 

Raw flesh has but one inconvenience. Its viscous- 
ness attaches itself to the teeth. It is not, however, 
disagreeable. When seasoned with salt it is easily 
digested, and must be digestible. 

A Croat captain, whom I invited to dinner in 1815, 
was amazed at my preparations. He said to me, 
"When in campaign, and we become hungry, we 
knock over the first animal we find, cut off a steak, 
powder it with salt, which we always have in the 
sabretasche, put it under the saddle, gallop over it for 
half a mile, and then dine like princes." 

When the huntsmen of Dauphiny go out in Septem- 
ber to shoot, they take both pepper and salt with 
them. If they kill a very fat bird they pluck, sea- 
son it, carry it some time in their caps and eat it. 
They say it is the best way to serve it up. 

If our ancestors ate raw food we have not entirely 
gotten rid of the habit. The most delicate palates 
like Aries' sausages, etc., which have never been 
cooked, but which are not, on that account, the less 


Subsequently to the Croat mode, fire was discov- 
ered. This was an accident, for fire is not spontane- 
ous. Many savage nations have been found utterly 
ignorant of it. 


Fire having been discovered it was made use of to 
perfect food; at first it was made use of to dry it, 
and then to cook it. 

Meat thus treated was found better than when 
raw. It had more firmness, was eaten with less diffi- 
culty, and the osmazome as it was condensed by car- 
bonization gave it a pleasing perfume. 

They began, however, to find out that flesh cooked 
on the coals became somewhat befouled, for certain 
portions of coal will adhere to it. This was remedied 
by passing spits through it, and placing it above burn- 
ing coals at a suitable height. 

Thus grillades were invented, and they have a fla- 
vor as rich as it is simple. All grilled meat is highly 
flavored, for it must be partially distilled. 

Things in Homer's time had not advanced much 
further, and all will be pleased here to read the 
account of Achilles' reception of the three leading 
Greeks, one of whom was royal. 

I dedicate this story to the ladies, for Achilles was 
the handsomest of all the Greeks, and his pride did 
not prevent his weeping when Bris&s was taken from 
him, viz : 

Mc/£b»a Hi Kpr}TTfpa t MsvoitIov vli, KaSlora* 
%op6rtpov it Kepau 9 6arag 6' irrvvov Ixarrcd. 
ol yip <pi\raroi &»6pes 2/ia> xmia6i /icX£9pa>. 

"ft $£ro* U&rpoK\os it <pt\a iirmftc*' Iratpy. 


avrip $yt KptTov ply a Ka(S$a\tv iv nvpdq atyjr* 
iv S ipa vurov fan* 8ios ital wiovos aiyo( t 
iv Si avdf oidXoto /5u*c* rc3o>o?av dXot^if. 
Ttj> <T f*«v AirojiWaw, ra/ivcv <T fya dio; 'A&XArff * 
<ra2 ri piy <9 fiiffTvWc, xal dptf dfftXotoiv lirtiptv* 
wvp Si MsvoiTtdSrK Saisv ftiya, (Vtttof 0a*. 
mirbp fail Jtari irfy i*&j, «a2 0Ad£ IftapdvSij, 
dt&paKtip vropioasy dfisXo^s l$fa$p$$ ravwosv 
w&mrt 6' iAd$ Scioto, icpartvratov iirattpas* 
crfrftp hrti f> anrnpc, *a2 cfr IXtoToiv l\tvtv y 
Uarpo*\o( piv olrov $Xu>v brivti/u rpaire^, 
Kabott iv xavioiffiv drip Kpia vtiptv 'A^AXcS*. 
afodf o" civrlop Z£c» 'OJwnrfaf Sdoto, 
roix/n roH cripoto* Scofai SI Swac dvciytt 
UdrpOK\ov t dv iraipov o $ iv mpl 0d\\t dwjXaj. 
el 3' in* dvtiaS' kroipa wpOKtlptva gct/Mf taXbov. 
atrip brti *6oios koX iSnrtog i{ ipov tvro 9 
vtwr' lAas Qoivutt. vtr\at Si Siog 'OoWctif • 
wXrjeaptvos o" oXvoio <J«aj, Sttucr 'AxiA^a* 
Xatp', 'AxiXev! 

The following is a translation by Pope: 

" Patroclu8, crown a larger bowl, 
Mix purer wine, and open every soul. 
Of all the warriors yonder host can send, 
Thy friend most honours these, and these thy friend/ 

He said : Patroclus o'er the blazing fire 
Heaps in a brazen vase three chines entire : 
The brazen vase Automedon sustains, 
Which flesh of porket, sheep, and goat contains : 
Achilles at the genial feast presides, 
The parts transfixes, and with skill divides. 
Meanwhile Patroclus sweats the fire to raise ; 
The tent is brightened with the rising blaze : 


Then, when the languid flames at length subside, 
He strews a bed of glowing embers wide, 
Above the coals the smoking fragments turns 
And sprinkles sacred salt from lifted urns ; 
With bread the glittering canisters they load. 
"Which round the board Menoetius' son bestowed : 
Himself, opposed to Ulysses, full in sight, 
Each portion parts, and orders every rite. 
The first fat offerings, to the immortals due, 
Amid the greedy Patroclus threw ; 
Then each, indulging in the social feast, 
His thirst and hunger soberly repress'd. 
That done, to Phoenix Ajax gave the sign ; 
Not unperceived ; Ulysses crown'd with wine 
The foaming bowl, and instant thus began, 
His speech addressing to the godlike man : 
"Health to Achilles !" 

Thus then a king, a son of a king, and three Gre- 
cian leaders dined very comfortably on bread, wine, 
and broiled meat. 

We cannot but think that Achilles and Patroclus 
themselves prepared the entertainment, if only to do 
honor to the distinguished guests they received. Or- 
dinarily the kitchen business was abandoned to slaves 
and women, as Homer tells us in Odyssey when ho 
refers to the entertainment of the heralds. 

The entrails of animals stuffed with blood were at 
that time looked on as very great delicacies. 

At that time and long before, beyond doubt, poetry 
and music, were mingled with meals. Famous min- 
strels sang the wonders of nature, the loves of the 


gods, and warlike deeds of man. Theirs wad a kind 
of priesthood, and it is probable that the divine Homer 
himself was sprang from one of those men favored by 
heaven. He would not have been so eminent had not 
his poetical studies begun in his childhood. 

Madame Dacier observes that Homer does not 
speak of boiled meat anywhere in his poems. The 
Jews had made much greater progress in consequence 
of their captivity in Egypt. They had kettles. 
Esau's mess of potage must have been made thus. 
For this he sold his birthright. 

It is difficult to say how men learned the use of 
metals. Tubal Gain, it is said, was the inventor. 

In the present state of knowledge, we use one me- 
tal to manufacture another. We overcome them with 
iron pincers; cut them with steel files, but I never 
met with any one who could tell me who made the 
first file or pair of pincers. 


Cookery made great advances. We are ignorant 
however of its utensils, whether of iron, pottery or of 
tin material. 

The oldest books we know of make honorable 
mention of oriental festivals. It is not difficult to, be- 
lieve that monarchs who ruled such glorious realms 
abounded in all that was grateful. We only know 
that Cadmus who introduced writing into Greece, was 
cook of the king of Sidon. 


The idea of surrounding the table with couches, 
originated from this voluptuous prince. 

Cookery and its flavors were then highly esteemed 
by the Athenians, a people fond of all that was new. 
From what we read in their histories, there is no doubt 
but that their festivals were true feasts. 

The wines of Greece, which even now we find ex- 
cellent, have been estimated by scientific gourmands 
the most delicious that were. * 

The most beautiful women that ever came to adorn 
our entertainments were Greeks, or of Grecian origin. 

The wisest men of old were anxious to display the 
luxury of such enjoyments. Plato, Atheneus, and 
many others, have preserved their names. The works 
of all of them, however, are lost, and if any remember 
them, it is only those who have heard of a long for- 
gotten and lost book, the Gastronomy A^^fptfi^j — 
the friend of one of the sons of Pericles. 

Such was the cookery of Greece, which sent forth a 
few men who first established themselves in the Tiber, 
and then took possession of the world. 


Good cheer was unknown to the Romans as long as 
they thought to preserve their independence or to 
overcome their neighbors, who were poor as they 
were. Their generals therefore lived on vegetables. 
Historians have never failed to praise these times, 
when frugality was a matter of honor. When, how- 


ever, their conquests had extended into Africa, Sicily 
and Hellas, when they had to live as people did 
where civilization was more advanced, they brought 
back to Borne the tastes which had attended them in 
foreign lands. 

The Romans sent to Athens a deputation charged 
to bring back the laws of Solon. They also sent them 
thither to study belles lettres and philosophy. While 
their manners became polished they became aware of 
the attractions of festivals. And poets, philosophers, 
orators, etc., all came to Rome at once. 

As time advanced, and as the series of events 
attracted to Rome almost all the riches of the world, 
the luxury of the table became incredible. 

Every thing was eaten — the grass-hopper and the 
ostrich, the squirrel and the wild-boar — all imaginable 
vegetables were put in requisition. 

Armies and travellers put all the world in requisi- 
tion. The most distinguished Roman citizens took plea- 
sure, not only in the cultivation of fruits once known, 
such as pears, apples, etc., but sought out things Lu- 
cullus never dreamed of. These importations which nat- 
urally had a great influence, prove at least that the 
impulse was general, that each one sought to contribute 
to the enjoyment of those around him. 

Our drinks were not the object of less attention, nor 
of less attentive cares. The Romans were delighted 
with the wines of Italy, Greece, and Sicily. As they 
estimated their value from the year in which they were 


made, we may understand Cicero's much abused 

Oh tortuna tarn, natura, me consule Roman. 

This was not all. In consequence of an instinct 
hitherto referred to, an effort was made to make them 
more highly perfumed, and flowers, aromatics, etc., 
were infused. Such things which the Romans called 
condita, must have had a very bad effect on the stomach. 

Thus the Romans came to dream of alcohol, which 
was not discovered until long after they were born. 


The glorious days of old might arise again, and 
nothing but a Lucullus is needed, to bring this about. 
Let us fancy that any man, known to be rich, should 
wish to celebrate any great act, and give in this man- 
ner an occasion for a famous entertainment. 

Let us suppose that he appeals to every one to adorn 
his entertainment, and orders every possible resource 
to be prepared. 

Let him make every imaginable preparation and Lu- 
cullus Would be as nothing compared with the civilized 
world as it is. 

Both the Romans and the Athenians had beds to 
eat on. They achieved the purpose but indirectly. 

At first they used beds only for the sacred festivals 
offered to the gods. The magistrates and principal 
men, adopted the custom, and ere long, it became 



general and was preserved until in the beginning of 
the fourth century. 

These couches were at first, only boxes filled with 
straw, and covered with skins. Gradually, however, 
they became more luxurious, and were made of the 
most precious woods, inlaid with ivory, and sometimes 
with gems. Their cushions 'were soft and their covers 
magnificently embroidered. 

People only laid down on the left elbow. Three 
usually slept together. 

This the Romans called lectisternium. It is not a 
very bad name. 

In a physical point of view incubitation demands a 
certain exhibition of power to preserve equlibrium, and 
is not without a degree of pain ; the elbow supporting 
an undue proportion of the weight of the body. 

In a physiological point of view, something also Is 
to be said. Imbuccation (swallowing) is effected in a 
less natural manner. The food is passed with more 
difficulty into the stomach. 

The ingestion of liquids, or drinking, is yet more 
difficult. It required particular attention not to spill 
the wine from the large cups on the tables of the 
great. Thence came the proverb : 

" Between the cup and lip, 
There is often time a slip." 

None could eat comfortably when reclining, espe- 
cially when we remember that many of the guests had 


long beards, and that fingers, or at least only knives 
were used. Forks are an invention of modern times, 
for none were found at Herculaeneum. 

Some violations of modesty must also have occurred 
at repasts which frequently exceeded the bounds of 
temperance, and where the two sexes have fallen asleep, 
and were mingled together. A poet says : 

" Nam pransus, jaceo, et satur supinus, 
Pertundo tunicamque, palliumque." 

When Christianity had acquired some power, its 
priests lifted up their voices against intemperance. 
They declaimed against the length of meals which 
violated all prudence by surrounding persons by every 
species of voluptuousness. Devoted by choice to an 
austere regimen, they placed gourmandise in the list of 
capital sins, and rigidly commented on the mingling of 
sexes and the use of beds, a habit which they said 
produced the luxury they deplored. 

Their menacing voice was heard; couches disap- 
peared, and the old habit of eating sitting, was re- 
stored. Fortunately this did not violate the demands 
of pleasure. 


Convivial poetry then underwent a new modification, 
and in the mouths of Horace and Tibullus assumed a 
languor the Greeks were ignorant o£ 


Dulce ridentem Lalagem amabo, 

Dulce luquentem. 


Quaeris quot mihi batiationes 
Tusd, Lesbia, sint satis superque. 


Pande, puella, pande capillulos 
Flavos, lucentus ut aurum nitidum. 
. Pande, paella, collum candidom 
Productum bene candidis humeris. 



The five or six centuries we shall run over in a few 
pages, were glorious days for the cuisine ; the irruption 
however of northern men overturned and destroyed 

When the strangers appeared, alimentary art made 
its appearance, as did the others that are its compan- 
ions. The greater portion of the cooks were massacred 
in the palaces they served. The foreigners came and 
they were able to eat as much in an hour as civilized 
people did in a week. 

Although that which is excessive is not durable- 
conquerors are always cruel. They united themselves 
with the victors, who received some tints of civilization, 

and began to know the pleasures of civilized life. 
***** * 

About the seventeenth century, the Dutch imported 
coffee into Europe. Solyman Agu, a Turk, whom our 


great, great grandfathers well remember, sold the first 
cups in 1760. An American sold it in 1670, and 
dealt it out from a marble bar, as we see now. 

The use of coffee then dates from the eighteenth 
century. Distillation, introduced by the crusades, 
remained arcana with few adepts. About the com- 
mencement of the reign of Louis XIV, alambics 
became more common, but not until the time of Louis 
XV., did the drink become really popular. 

About the same time the use of tobacco was intro- 
duced. So that sugar, coffee and tobacco, the three 
most important articles of luxury in Europe, are 
scarcely two centuries old. 

[The translator here omits a whole Meditation. It 
would now be scarcely pleasant.] 




A restaurateur is one, the business of whom is to 
offer a dinner always ready, and with prices to suit 
those that consume them. 

Of all those who frequent restaurants, few persons 
cannot understand that a restorateur is not necessarily 
a man of genius. 

We shall follow out the affiliation of ideas which 
has led to the present state of affairs. 


About 1770, after the glorious days of Louis XTV., 
and the frolics and tranquility of the regency of Car- 
dinal Fleury, foreigners had few means of good cheer. 

They were forced to have recourse to inn-keepers, 
the cookery of whom was generally very bad. A few 
hotels kept a table d'hote which generally contained 
only what was very necessary, and which was always 
ready at an appointed hour. 

The people we speak of only ordered whole joints, 
or dishes, and consequently such an order of things 
could not last. 



At last a man of sense arose, who thought. that an 
active cause must have its effect. That as the same 
want sent people every day to his house, consumers 
would come whenever they were satisfied that they 
would be served. They saw that if a wing was cut 
from a fowl for one person, some one would be sure to 
taste the thigh. The separation of one limb would not 
injure the flavor of the rest of the animal. More pay 
the least attention to the increase of prices, when one 
considers the prorilpt service of what was served. 

This man thought of many things, which we may 
now easily devise. The one who did so was the first 
restaurateur and the inventor of a business which is a 
fortune to all who exercise it promptly and honorably. 

[The translator here omits a whole chapter.] 

From the* examination of the bills of fare of differ- 
ent restaurants, any one who sets down at the table, 
has the choice of the following dishes : — 

12 soups. 

24 side dishes. 

15 or 20 preparations of beef. 
20 of mutton. 

30 of fowl or game. 

16 or 20 of veaL 
12 of pastry. 
24 of fish. 

15 roasts. 
50 side dishes. 
50 desserts. 


Besides the fortunate gastronomer has thirty kinds 
of wine to select from, passing over the whole scale 
from Burgundy to Tokay, and Constantia, and twenty 
various kinds of essences, without taking into conside- 
ration such mixed drinks as punch, negus, sillabubs 
and the like. 

Of the various parts of a good dinner, many are 
indigenous, such as butcher's meat, fowl and fruits. 
Others for instance, the beef-stake, Welch rare-bit, 
punch, etc., were invented in England. Germany, 
Spain, Italy, Holland, all contribute, as does India, 
Persia, Arabia, and each pay their quota, in sour-krout, 
raisins, parmera, bolognas, curacao, rice, sago, soy, po- 
tatoes, etc. The consequence is, that a Parisian din- 
ner is perfectly cosmopolitan. 

[The translator here omits two Meditations, which 
refer exclusively to Paris is 1825. Few Frenchmen 
now would understand them, and none but a French* 
man could.] 




If I have been read with the attention I wished, 
all must have seen that I had a double purpose in 
view. The first was to establish the theoretical basis 
of Gastronomy, so as to place it among sciences where 
it should doubtless be. The second was to define gour- 
mandise, and to separate this social character, as free 
from gluttony and intemperance, with which it is often 

This equivoque has been introduced by intolerant 
moralists, who, deceived by too much zeal, saw ex- 
cesses where there was only innocent enjoyment. 
The treasures of creation were not made to be trodden 
under the feet. It was afterwards propagated by 
grammarians who defined it as blind men do, and who 
swore in verba magistri. 

It is time that such an error should cease, for now 
all the world understand each other. This is true, for 
there never was a person who would not confess to 
some tincture of gourmandise, and even would not boast 



of it, none however would not look on gluttony as an 
insult, just as they do on intemperance and voracity. 

About these two cardinal points, it seems that what 
I have described should satisfy all those who do not 
refuse conviction. I might then lay down my pen and 
look on the task I have imposed on myself as finished. 
As however, I approached those subjects which belong 
to every thing, I remembered many things which it did 
not seem to me fit to write, such as anecdotes, bon 
mots, recipes, and other odd things. 

Had they been put in the theoretical portion of the 
book they would have taken the connection ; place, 
them all together, they will not be disadvantageous 
because they contain some experimental truths and 
useful explanations. 

I have also inserted personal biography, but when 
I read them over, I feel to a degree uneasy. 

This anxiety originated in my last lectures and 
glossaries, which are in the hands of every body. 
I think, however, that I may be tranquil, having 
sheltered myself under the mantle of philosophy, I 
insist that my enemies have uneasy consciences and 
sleep badly. 



l'omelettb du curb. 

All know that twenty years ago, Madame R 

was the most beautiful woman in Paris. All know 
that she was very charitable and took an interest in 
the various enterprises, the object of which was the 
alleviation of misery, perhaps greater in the capital 
than elsewhere. 

Having business with the cur6 of , she went 

thither about five P. M., and was surprised to find him 
at dinner. 

' She believed that every body dined at six P. M., 
and was not aware that ecclesiastics dined earlier, from 
the fact that they were used to take light collations. 

Madame R wished to retire, but the curfe 

would not permit her to do so, either because the 
matter under discussion would pot interrupt conver- 
sation, or that a pretty woman never disturbs any 

The table was very well arranged ; old wine sparkled 
in a chrystal flagon, and the porcelain was faultless. 
The plates were kept hot by boiling water, and an old 
housekeeper was in attendance. 



The meal was half way between luxury and absti- 
nence* A soup of ecrevisses was removed and a salmon 
trout, an omelette, and a salad were placed on the table. 

"My dinner tells you," said the priest " what you 
do not know, that to day is a fast day." My friend 
assented with a blush. 

They began with the trout, the shoulders of which 
were soon eaten. The sauce was made by a com- 
petent person and the pastor's brow was irradiated 
with joy. 

Then the omelette, which was round and done to a 
point, was attached. 

As soon as the spoon touched it, the odor and per- 
fume it contained escaped, and my friend owns that it 
made her mouth water. 

The cur<£ had a sympathetic movement for he was 
used to watch my passions. In reply to a question 

he saw Madame R was about to ask, he said, 

"It is an omelette au thon. My cook understands 
them simply, and few people ever taste them without 
complimenting her. "I am not amazed," said his 
lady guest, "for I never ate anything so delightful." 

Then came the salad. (I recommend it to those 
who have confidence in me. It refreshes without ex- 
citing. I think it makes people younger.) 

Dinner did not interrupt conversation. They talked 
of the affair which had occasioned the visit, of the 
war, of business, of other things which made a bad 
dinner passably good. 


The dessert came. It consisted of septmoncel cheese, 
of apples and preserves. 

At last the house-keeper brought forward a little 
round table, such as once was called a gueridon, on 
which was a cup of strong mocha, the perfume of 
which filled the room. 

Having sipped it, the cure said grace, and. arose, 
adding " I never take spirits, though I offer them to 
my guests. I reserve them as a succor for extreme 
old age." 

While all this was progressing, time had passed, 

and as it was six o'clock, Madame R was, anxious 

to get into her carriage, for she had several friends to 
dine with her. She came late, and told her guests, of 
whom I was one, what she had seen. 

The conversation passed from subject to subject, 
but I, as a philosopher, thought the secret of the pre- 
paration of such a dish must be valuable. I ordered 
my cook to obtain the recipe in its most minute 
details. I publish it the more willingly now, because 
I never saw it in any book. 


Take for six persons the roe of four cash* and 
steep them for a few minutes in salt water just below 
boiling point. 

* The translator has followed this recipe with shad, pike, 
pickerel, etc., and can recommend it with a quiet conscience. 
Any fish is a substitute for tunny. 



Pat in also a fresh tunny about as large as an egg, 
to which you must add a charlotte minced. 

Mix the tunny and the roes together, and put the 
whole in a kettle with a portion of good butter, and 
keep it on the fire until the butter has melted. This 
is the peculiarity of the omelette. 

Take then another piece of butter and mix it with 
parsely and sage. Put it in the dish intended to 
receive the omelette, cover it with lemon juice and 
put it on hot coals. 

Then beat twelve eggs, (fresh as possible), pour in 
the fish and roe so that all may be perfectly mixed. 

Then cook the omelette as usual, making it thin 
and firm. Serve it up hot. 

This dish should be reserved for breakfasts, where 
all the guests are connoisseurs. It is caviare to the 


1. The roes and fish should be warmed, not boiled. 
They will thus mingle more easily with the eggs. 

2. The plate should be deep. 

8. It should be warm, for a cold porcelain plate 
would extract the caloric of the omelette and make it 



When I lived in New York I used every once in a 
while to pass the evening in a kind of tavern kept by 


a man named Little, (the old bank coffee house) where 
one could always get turtle soup and all the dishes 
common in the United States. 

I often went thither with the Vicomte de la Mas- 
sue and M. Fehr, an old broker of Marsailles; all 
three <tf us were emigrants, and we used to drink ale 
and cider, and pass the evening very pleasantly 

There I became acquainted with a Mr. Wilkinson, 
who was a native of Jamaica, and a person he was 
very intimate with, for he never left him. The latter, 
the name of whom I do not remember was one of the 
most extraordinary men I ever met. He had a square 
face, keen eyes, and appeared to look attentively at 
everything, though his features were motionless as 
those of a blind man. When he laughed it was with 
what the English call a horse-laugh, and immediately 
resumed his habitual taciturnity. Mr. Wilkinson 
seemed about forty, and, in manner and appearance, 
seemed to be a gentleman. 

The Englishman seemed to like our company, and 
more than once shared the frugal entertainment I 
offered my friends, when Mr. Wilkinson took me one 
evening aside ahd said he intended to ask us all to 
dine with him. 

. I accepted the invitation for three o'clock on the 
third day after. 

The evening passed quietly enough, but when I was 
about to leave, a waiter came to me and said that the 


West Indian had ordered a magnificent dinner, think- 
ing their invitation a challenge. The man with the 
horse-laugh had undertaken to drigk us Frenchmen 

This intelligence would have induced me, if possi- 
ble, to decline the banquet. It was, however, impos- 
sible, and following the advice of the Marshal de 
Saxe, we determined, as the wine was uncorked, to 
drink it. 

I had some anxiety, but being satisfied that my 
constitution was young, healthy and sound, I could 
easily get the better of the West Indian, who proba- 
bly wafs unused to liquors. 

I however, went to see Messrs. Fehr and Massue, 
and in an occular allocution, told them of my plans. I 
advised them to drink as little as possible, and to 
avoid too many t glasses, while I talked to our 
antagonists. Above all things, I advised them to 
keep up some appetite, telling them that food had the 
effect of moderating the fumes of wine. 

Thus physically and morally a^med, we went to the 
old bank coffee house, where we found our friends ; 
dinner was soon ready. It consisted of a huge piece 
of beef, a roasted turkey, (plain) boiled vegetables, a 
salad and pastry. 

Wine was put on the table. It was claret, very 
good, and cheaper than it then was in France. 

Mr. Wilkinson did the honors perfectly, asking us 
to eat, and setting us an example, while his friend, 


who seemed busy with his plate, did nothing but laugh 
at the corners of his mouth. 

My countrymen delighted me by their discretion. 

After the claret came the port and Madeira. To 
the latter we paid great attention. 

Then came the dessert composed of butter, cheese 
and hickory nuts. Then came the time for toasts, and 
we drank to our kings, to human liberty, and to Wil- 
kinson's daughter Maria, who was, as he said, the 
prettiest woman in Jamaica. 

Then came spirits* viz., rum, brandy, etc. Then 
came songs, and I saw things were getting warm. I 
was afraid of brandy and asked for punch. Little 
brought a bowl, which, doubtless, he had prepared be- 
fore. It held enough for forty people, and was larger 
than any we have in France. 

This gave me courage ; I ate five or six well but- 
tered rolls, and I felt my strength revive. I looked 
around the table and saw my compatriots apparently 
fresh enough, while the Jamaican began to grow red 
in the face, and seemed uneasy. His friend said 
nothing, but seemed so overcome that I saw the catas- 
trophe would soon happen. 

I cannot well express the amazement caused by this 
denouement, and from the burden of which I felt my- 
self relieved. I rang the bell ; Little came up ; I said, 
"see these gentlemen well taken care of." We drank 
a glass to their health. At last the waiter came and 
bore off the defeated party feet foremost. Wilkin- 


son's friend was motionless, and our host would insist 
on singing, "Rule Britannia."* 

The New York papers told the story the next day, 
and added that the Englishman had died. This was 
not go, for Mr. Wilkinson had only a slight attack of 
the gout. 



Several years ago the newspapers told us of the 
discovery of a new perfume called the em$rocaflis 9 a 
bulbous plant, which has an odor not unlike the 

I am very curious, and was, therefore, induced in 
all probability to go to the Foubourg St. Germain, 
where I could find the perfume. 

I was suitably received, and a little flask, very well 
wrapped up, was handed me, which seemed to contain 
about two ounces. In exchange for it I left three 

An itourdi would at once have opened, smelled 
and tasted it. A professor, however, acts differently, 
and I thought modesty would become me. I took the 
flagon then and went quietly home, sat on my sofa 
and prepared to experience a new sensation. 

I took the package from my pocket and untied the 

* The translator is sorry to say, that at thdHime Savarin 
speaks of, " Rule Britannia" was not written. 


wrappings which surrounded it. They were three 
different descriptions of the emSrocattis, and referred 
to its natural history, its flower, and its exquisite per- 
fume, either in the shape of pastilles, in the kitchen, 
or in ices. I read each of the wrappings. 1. To in- 
demnify myself as well as I could for the price I have 
spoken of above. 2. To prepare myself for an ap- 
preciation of the new and valuable extract I have 
spoken of. 

I then opened, with reverence, the box I supposed 
full of pastilles. To my surprise, however, I found 
three other copies of the edition I had so carefully 
read, Inside I fouQd about two dozen of thq cubes I 
had gone so far for. 

I tasted them, and must say that I found them very 
agreeable. I was sorry though, that they were so few 
in number, and the more I thought of the matter, the 
more I became mystified. 

I then arose with the intention ot carrying the box 
back to its manufacturer. Just then, however, I 
thought of my grey hairs, laughed at my vivacity, and 
sat down. 

A particular circumstance also recurred to me. I had 
to deal with a druggist, and only four days ago I had 
a specimen of one of that calling. 

I had one day to visit my friend JBauvier des 

I found him strolling in a most excited state, up 


and down the room, and crushing in his hands a piece 
of poetry, I thought a song. 

He gave it to me and said, " look at this, you know 
all about it." 

I saw at once that it was an apothecary's bill. I 
was not consulted as a poet, but as a pharmaceutist. 

I knew what the trade was, and was advising him 
to be quiet, when the door opened, and we saw a man 
of about fifty-five enter. He was of moderate stature 
and his whole appearance would have been stern, had 
there not been something sardonic about his lips. 

He approached the fire-place, refused to sit down, 
and I heard the following dialogue I have faithfully 

" Monsieur," said the general, " you sent me a reg- 
ular apothecary's bill." 

The man in black said that he was not an apothe- 

"What then are you?" said the general. 

" Sir, I am a pharmaceutist." 

" Well," said the general, "your boy — " 

" Sir, I have no boy." 

" Who then was the young man you sent thither ?" 

" My pupil—" 

" I wish to say, sir, that your drugs — " 

" Sir, I do not sell drugs — " 

" What then do you sell ?" 


The general at once became ashamed at having com- 


mitted so many solicisms in a few moments, and paid 
the bill. 



The chevalier de Langeac was rich, but his fortune 
was dispensed as is the fortune of all rich men. 

He funded the remnants, and aided by a little pen- 
sion from the government, he contrived to lead a very 
pleasant life.. 

Though naturally very gallant, he had nothing to do 
with women. 

As his other powers passed away, his gourmandise 
increased. He became a professor and received more 
invitations than he could accept. 

Lyons is a pleasant city, for there one can get vin 
de Bourdeaux, Hermitage and Burgundy. The game 
of the neighborhood is very good, and unexceptionable 
fish is taken from the lakes in the vicinity. Every 
body loves Bresse chickens. 

Langeac was therefore welcome at all the best tables 
of the city, but took especial delight in that of a cer- 
tain M. A. 

In the winter of 1780, the chevalier received a let- 
ter, inviting him to sup ten days after date, (at that 
time I know there were suppers) and the chevalier 
quivered with emotion at the idea. 

He, at the appointed time, made his appearance, 
and found ten guests. There was at that time no such 
word as gastronomy. 


A grand dinner was soon served, consisting of fish, 
flesh, and fowl. 

All was very good, but the chevalier was not satis- 
fied with the hopes he had entertained. 

Another thing amazed him. His guests did not 
seem to eat. The chevalier was amazed to see that 
so many anti-convivial persons had been collected, and 
thinking that he had to do justice to all these fasting 
people set to work at once. 

The second service was solid as the first. A huge 
turkey was dressed plain, flavored by salads and mac- 
aroni au parmesan. 

When he saw this, the chevalier felt his strength 
revive; all the other guests were overpowered, excited 
by the changes of wines, he triumphed over their im- 
potence, and drank their health again and again. 
Every time he drank their health, he took a slice from 
the turkey. 

Due attention was paid to the side-dishes, and the 
chevalier stuck to business longer than any one would 
have thought possible. He only revived when the 
becfigue8 appeared, and became fully aroused when 
truffles were put on the table. 


Discord one day sought to effect an entrance into 
one of the most harmonious houses of Paris. A tur- 
bot was to be cooked. 


The fish was on the next day to be served to a com- 
pany of which I was one ; it was fresh, fat, and glori- 
ous, but was so large that no dish in the house could 
hold it. 

" Let us cut it in half," said the husband. 

" Would you thus dishonor it ?" said the wife. 

" We must, my dear." 

" Well, bring the knife, we will soon do it." 

" Wait though, our cousin, who is a professor, will 
soon be here. He will relieve us from the dilemma. 

The gordian knot was about to be released, when I 
came in hungry, as a man always is at seven P. M. 

When I came in I tried in vain to make the usual 
compliments. No one listened, and for that reason 
no one replied to me. The subject in discussion was 
at once submitted to me. 

I made up my mind at once, went to the kitchen, 
found a kettle large enough to boil the whole fish, and 
did so. There was a procession composed of the mas- 
ter, mistress, servants, and company, but they all 
approved of what I did. With the fish we boiled 
bulbous root and other vegetables.* 

When the fish was cooked we sat down at the 
table, our ideas being somewhat sharpened by the 
delay, and sought anxiously for the time, of which 
Homer speaks, when abundance expells hunger. 

* From the above it is very clear that Brillat Savarin made 
what the late D. Webster called a " chowder." 


[The translator here omits a very excellent recipe 
for a fish-chowder. Everybody knows it.] 



None bnt adepts know what a pheasant is. They 
only can appreciate it. 

Everything has its apogee of excellence, some of 
which, like capers, asparagus, partridges, callow-birds, 
etc., are eatable only when they are young. Others 
are edible only when they obtain the perfection of 
their existence, such as melons and fruits, and the 
majority of the beasts which furnish us with animal 
food. Others are not good until decomposition begins, 
such as the snipe and pheasant. 

When the pheasant is eaten only three days after 
its death, it has no peculiarity ; it has not the flavor 
of a pullet, nor the perfume of a quail. 

It is, however, a highly flavored dish, about half 
way between chicken and venison. 

It is especially good when the pheasant begins 
to be decomposed — an aroma and exciting oil is 
then produced, like coffee, only produced by torrefac- 

This becomes evident by a slight smell and change 
of color. Persons possessed, however, of the instincts 
of gourmandise see it at once, just as a good cook 
knows whether he should take his bird from the spit 
or give it a turn or two more. 


When the pheasant is in that condition it should be 
plucked, and not before. 

The bird should then be stuffed, and in the follow- 
ing manner : 

Take two snipe and draw them so as to put the 
birds on one plate, and the livers, etc., on another. 

Take the flesh and mingle it with beef, lard and 
herbes fines, adding also salt and truffles enough to 
fill the stomach of the pheasant. 

Cut a slice of bread larger, considerably, than the 
pheasant, and cover it with the liver, etc., and a few 
truffles. An anchovy and a little fresh butter will do 
no harm. 

Put the pheasant on this preparation, and when it 
is boiled surround it with Florida oranges. Do not 
be uneasy about your dinner. 

Drink burgundy after this dish, for long experi- 
ence has taught me that it is the proper wine. 

A pheasant served in this way is a fit dish for 
angels, if they visited the world as they did in Lot's 

What I say, experience has already proved. A 
pheasant thus stuffed by Picard at La Grange* was 
brought on the table by the cook himself. It was 
looked on by the ladies as they would have looked at 
one of Mary Herbault's hats. It was scientifically 
tasted, and* in the interim the ladies eyes shone like 
stars, and their lips became coral. 

* Does he refer to La Fayette's estate ? 


I did more than this; I gave a similar proof to the 
judges of the supreme court. They are aware that the 
toga is sometimes to be laid aside, and I was able to 
show to several that good cheer was a fit companion 
and reward for the labors of the senate. After a few 
moments the oldest judge uttered the word excellent. 
All bowed, and the court adopted the decision. I 
had observed that the venerable old men seemed to 
take great delight in smelling the dish, and that their 
august brows were agitated by expressions of extreme 
serenity,. something like a half smile hanging on their 

All this thing, however is naturally accounted for. 
The pheasant, itself, a very good bird, had imbibed the 
dressing and the flavor of the truffle and snipe. It 
thus becomes thrice better. 

Thus of all the good things collected, every atom 
is appreciated and the consequence is, I think the 
pheasant fit for the table of a prince. 

Parve, nee invideo, sine me liber, ibis in aulam. 



Toute Frangaise, a ce que j'imagine, 
Sait, bien ou mal faire, un peu de cuisine. 

Belle Arsene, Act, 227. 

In a chapter written for the purpose, the advanta- 
ges France derived from gourmandise in 1815, were 
fully explained. This was not less useful to emigres; 


all those who had any alimentary resources, received 
much benefit from it. 

When I passed through Boston, I taught a cook, 
named Julien, who in 1794 was in his glory, how to 
serve eggs with cheese. Julien was a skilful lad, and 
had, he said, been employed by the Archbishop of 
Bourdeaux. This was to the Americans a new dish, 
and Julien in return, sent me a beautiful deer he had 
received from Canada, which those I invited to do 
honour to it, thought admirable. 

Captain Collet also, in 1794 and 1795 earned much 
money by the manufacture of ices and sherbets. 

Women always take care to enjoy any pleasures 
which are new to them. None can form an idea of 
their surprise. They could not understand how it 
could remain so cold, when the thermometer was at 
26° Reaumur. 

When I was at Cologne, I found a Breton nobleman, 
who thought himself very fortunate, as the keeper of 
a public house ; and I might multiply these examples 
indefinitely. I prefer however to tell of a Frenchman, 
who became very rich at London, from the skill he 
displayed in making salad. 

He was a Limousin, and if I am not mistaken, was 
named Aubignac, or Albignac. 

Poor as he was, he went, however, one day to dine 
at one of the first restaurants of London. He could 
always make a good dinner on a single good dish. 

While he was discussing a piece of roast beef, five 


or six dandies sat at the next table, and one of them 
advanced and said, " Sir, they say your people excel 
in the art of making a salad. Will you be kind 
enough to oblige us ? 

After some hesitation d'Albignac consented, and 
having set seriously to work, did his best. 

While he was making his mixture, he replied frankly 
to questions about his condition, and my friend owned, 
not without a little blushing, that he received the aid 
of the English government, a circumstance which 
doubtless induced one of the young men to slip a ten 
pound bank bill into his hand. 

He gave them his address, and not long after, was 
much surprised to receive a letter inviting him to come 
to dress a salad at one of the best houses in Grosvenor 

D'Albignac began to see that he might draw con- 
siderable benefit from it, and did not hesitate to accept 
the offer. He took with him various preparations which 
he fancied would make his salad perfect as possible. 

He took more pains in this second 'effort, and suc- 
ceeded better than he had at first. On this occasion 
so large a sum was handed to him that he could not 
with justice to himself refuse to accept it. 

The young men he met first, had exaggerated the 
salad he had prepared for them, and the second enter- 
tainment was yet louder in its praise. He became 
famous as " the fashionable salad-maker," and those 
who knew anything of satirical poetry remembered : 


Desir de nonne est un feu pui devore, 
Desir d'Anglaise est cent fois piri encore. 

D'Albignac, like a man of sense, took advantage of 
the excitement, and soon obtained a carriage, that he 
might travel more rapidly from one part of the town 
to the other. He had in a mahogany case all the in- 
gredients he required. 

Subsequently he had similar cases prepared and 
filled, which he used to sell by the hundred. 

Ultimately he made a fortune of 80,000 francs, 
which he took to France when times became more 

When he had returned to France, he did not hurry 
to Paris, but with laudable precaution, placed 60,000 
francs in the funds, and with the rest purchased a little 
estate, on which, for aught I know, he now lives hap- 
pily. His funded money paid him fifty per cent. 

These facts were imparted to me by a friend, who 
had known D 'Albignac in London, and who had met 
him after his return. 



In 1794, M. de Eostaing, my cousin and friend, 
now military intendant at Lyons, a man of great tal- 
ent and ability, and myself were in Switzerland. 

We went to Mondon, where I had many relations, 


and was kindly received by the family of Troillet. I 
will never forget their hospitality. 

I was there shown a young French officer who was 
a weaver, and who became one thus : — 

This young man, a member of a very good family, 
was passing through Mondon, to join Condfes army, 
and chanced to meet an old man with one of the ani- 
mated heads usually attributed by painters to the com- 
panions of the famous Tell. 

At their dessert, the officer did not conceal his situ- 
ation, and received much sympathy from his new 
friend. The latter complained that at such an 
age, he had now to renounce all that was pleasant, 
and that every man should, as Jean Jacques, says, 
have some trade to support themselves in adversity. 

The conversation paused there ; and a short time 
after, he joined the army of Condi. From what 
he saw there, however, he saw he never could expect 
to enter France in that way. 

Then he remembered the words of the weaver ; and 
finally making up his mind, left the army, returned to 
Mondon, and begged the weaver to receive him as an 

On the next day the officer set to work, dining and 
sleeping with the weaver, and was so assiduous, that 
after six months, his master told him, he had. nothing 
to teach him, thought himself repaid for the care he 
had bestowed, and that all he earned henceforth was 
his own profit. 


When I was at Mondon, the new artisan had earned 
money enough to purchase a shop and a bed. He 
worked with great assiduity, and such interest was 
taken in him, that some of the first houses of the city 
enquired after him every day. 

On Sunday, he wore his uniform, and resumed his 
social rights. As he was very well read, all took 
pleasure in his company, and he did not seem discon- 
tented with his fate. 


To this picture of the advantage of industry, I am 
about to add an altogether different one. 

I met at Lausanne, an emigre from Lyons, who to 
avoid work used to eat but twice a week. He would 
have died beyond a doubt, if a merchant in the city 
had not promised to pay for his dinner every Sunday, 
and Wednesday of the week. 

The emigre came always at the appointed time, and 
always took away a large piece of bread. 

He had been living in this manner some three 
months, when I met him ; he had not been sick, but 
he was so pale that it was sad to see him. 

I was amazed that he would suffer such pain rather 
than work. I asked him once to dine with me, but 
did not repeat the invitation because I believe in obey- 
ing that divine precept, " By the sweat of thy brow 
shalt thou earn thy bread." 



From Switzerland I went lo America. 

* * * * * * * 

* * * * * * * 


Passing one day in February, by the Palais Eoyal, 
I paused before the shop of Mme Chevet, the largest 
dealer in comestibles in Paris, who always wished me 
well. Seeing a large box of asparagus, the smallest 
of which was large as my finger, I asked the price. 
" Forty francs," said she. " They are very fine, but 
only a king or prince could eat at such a rate." 
" You are wrong sir," said she, " such things never 
go to palaces, but I will sell the asparagus. 

" There are now in this city at least three hundred 
rich men, capitalists and financiers, retained at home 
by gout, colds, and doctors. They are always busy 
to ascertain what will revive them and send their 
valets out on voyages of discovery. Some one of 
them will remark this asparagus, and it will be bought. 
It may be, some pretty woman will pass with her 
lover, and say, * what fine asparagus. How well my 
servant dresses it.' The lover then does not hesitate, 
and I will tell you a secret, that dear things are sold 
more easily than cheap ones." 

As she spoke two fat Englishmen passed us. They 
seemed struck at once. One seized hold of the as- 


paragus and without asking the price paid for it, and 
as he walked away whistled 4C God save the King." 

" Monsieur ," said Madame Chevet, "a thousand 
things like this happen every day." 


Fondue is a soup dish, and consists only in frying 
eggs in cheese in proportions revealed by experience. 
I will give the recipe. It is a pleasant dish, quickly 
made and easily prepared for unexpected guests. • I 
refer to it here only for my peculiar pleasure, and be- 
cause it preserves the memory of things which the old 
men of Belley recollect. 

Towards the end of the 17th century M. Madot 
became bishop of Belley, and took possession of the 

Those to whom his reception had been confided had 
provided an entertainment worthy of the occasion, 
and made use of all the preparations then known in 
the kitchen, to welcome my lord. 

There was an immense fondue, to which the prelate 
paid great attention ; to the surprise of all he ate it with 
a spoon, instead of a fork, as people had been used to do. 

All the guests looked at each other with a per- 
ceptible smile on every face. A bishop from Paris, 
however, must know how to eat. On the next day 
there was a great deal of gossip, and people that met 
at the corners, said " Well did you see how our bishop 
ate his fondue? I heard from a person who was 
present that he used a spoon !" 


The bishop had some followers, innovaters who pre- 
ferred the spoon, but the majority preferred the fork, 
and an old grand-ancle of mine used to laugh as if 
he would die, as he told how M. de Madot ate fondue 
with a spoon. 


Calculate the number of eggs in proportion to the 

Take one-third of the weight of Gruyere and one- 
sixth of the weight of butter. 

Beat the eggs and mingle them with the butter and 
cheese in a casserole. 

Put the kettle on a hot fire and stir it until the 
mixture is perfect. Put in more or less salt in pro- 
portion as the cheese is old or new. Serve it hot, 
with good wine, of which one should drink much. 
The feast will see sights. 


All one day was quiet at the Ecu de France, be- 
tween Bourg and Bresse, when the sound of wheels 
was heard, and a superb English berline drove up, on 
the box of which were two pretty Abigails, wrapped 
in blue and red cloths. 

At the sight, which announced a nobleman on his 
travels, Chicot, that was his name, hurried to the door 
of the equipage. The wife stood at the door, the 


girls near by, while the boys from the stable hurried 
forward satisfied that they would receive a handsome 

The women were unpacked and there came from 
the berline, 1st, a fat Englishman, 2d, two thin, pale, 
red-haired girls, and 3d, a lady, apparently in the first 
stage of consumption. 

The last spoke : 

" Landlord," said she, " take care of the horses, give 
us a room and the women refreshments. All must cost 
only six francs ; act accordingly." 

Chicot put on his bonnet, madame went into the 
house, and the girls to their garrets. 

The horses were, however, put into the stable, the 
Englishman read the papers, and the women had a 
pitcher of pure water. The ladies went up stairs. 
The six francs were received as a poor compensation 
for the trouble caused. 


" Alas ! how much I am to be pitied," said the elegiac 
voice of a gastronomer of the royal court of the 
Seine. Hoping to be soon able to return home, I left 
my cook there ; business detains me at Paris, and I 
have to depend on an old women the preparations of 
whom make me sick. Anything satisfies my wife and 
children, but I am made a martyr of the spit and 

Thus he spoke, as we walked slowly through the 


place Dauphine. Luckily a friend heard the complaint, 
who said, " You will not, my friend, be a martyr. 
Deign to accept a classical dinner to-morrow, and 
after a game of piquet we will bury all in the abyss 
of the past." 

The invitation was accepted, the mystery was 
solved, and since the 23d June, 1825, the professor 
has been delighted at having one of his best friends 
in royal court. 


The artificial thirst we previously alluded to, is that 
which for the moment appeals to strong drinks as a 
momentary relief. It gradually becomes so habitual 
that those who grow used to it cannot do without it 
even through the night, and have to leave their bed 
to appease it. 

This thirst then becomes a real disease, and when 
he has reached that point, it may safely be said that 
he has not two years to live. 

I travelled in Holland with a rich Dantzick mer- 
chant, who had for fifty years kept the principal house 
for the sale of brandy. 

"Monsieur," said he "none in France are aware of 
the importance of the trade in brandy, which for nearly 
a century my father and myself have carried on. I 
have watched with attention the workmen who yield 
to it as too many Germans do, and they generally die 
in the same manner/' 


" At first they take simply a glass in the morning, 
and for many years this suffices. It is a common 
habit with all workmen^ and any one who did not in- 
dulge in it would be ridiculed by his companions. 
Then they double the dose, that is to say, take a glass 
at morning and night. Thus things continue about 
three years, when they begin to drink three times a 
day, and will only taste spirits in which highly scented 
herbs have been infused. Having reached that point, 
one may be sure they have not more than six months 
to live, for they go to the hospital and are seen no 


I have already referred to these categories of gour- 
mandise destroyed by time. 

As they disappeared thirty years since, few of the 
present generation ever saw them. 

About the end of the century they will probably 
reappear, but as such a phenomenon demand the coin- 
cidence of many future contingencies, I think few 
who live will ever witness this palingenesis 

As a painter of manners I must give the last touch 
to my portrait, and will borrow the following passage 
from an author, who, I know, will refuse me nothing. 

" The title of Chevalier was only correctly granted 

to persons who had been decorated, or to the younger 

sons of noble houses. Many of the Chevaliers of 

those days, however, were self-created, and if they 



had education and good manners, none doubted the 

6t They were generally young, wore the sword ver- 
tically and kept a stiff upper lip. They gamed and 
fought and were a portion of the train of any fash- 
ionable beauty. 

At the commencement of the revolution many of 
the Chevaliers joined the army of the emigr&a, en- 
listed or dispersed. The few who survive can yet be 
recognized by their military air ; almost all of them, 
however, have the gout. 

When any noble family had many children, one 
was dedicated to the church ; at first some benefice, 
barely sufficient to pay for the expenses of education, 
was obtained, and ultimately he became Prince, Abbe, 
or Bishop, as circumstances dictated. 

This was the real Abb^ ; but many yotfng men who 
disliked the perils of the Chevalier, called themselves 
Abb&s when they came to Paris. 

Nothing was so convenient, for, with a slight change 
of dress, they could appear as priests and the equals 
of anybody. There was a great advantage in this 
for every house had its Abbe 

They were generally small, round, well dressed and 
agreeable. They were gourmands, active and pleas- 
ant. The few that remain have became very devout 
and very fat. 

None could be more comfortable than a rich prior 
or abbot. They had no superiors and nothing to do. 


If there be a long peace, the priors will turn up 
again, but unless there be a great change in the eccle- 
siastical organization, the Abbes are lost for ever. 


" Monsieur," said an old marquise to me one day, 
" which do you like best, Burgundy or Bordeaux ?" 
" Madame," said I, " I have such a passion for exam- 
ining into the matter, that I always postpone the deci- 
sion a week." 


The Count de la Place recommends that strawberries 
should always be dressed with orange juice. 


" He is not a man of mind," said the Count de M 

"Why ?" "Ah ! he does not eat pudding a la Richelieu, 
nor cutlets a la Soubise" 


" Take a raisin — " 

" No I thank you ; I do not like wine in pills/' 


It was about one A. M., on a fine summer night, 
and I set out after having been serenaded by many 
who took an interest in us. This was about 1782. 

I then was the chief of a troop of amateur musi- 
cians, all of whom were young and healthy. 


" Monsieur," said the abbe of Saint Sulpice to me 
one day, and he drew me into a window recess, "you 
would enjoy yourself very much if you come some day 
to play for us at Saint Bernard's. The Saints would 
be delighted." 

I accepted the oflfer at once, for it seemed to pro- 
mise us an agreeable evening. I nodded assent, and 
all were amazed. 

Annuit, et totum nutu tremefecit olympum. 

Every precaution had previously been taken, for we 
had. yet to go four leagues, a distance sufficient to 
terrify the persons who had ascended Mont Martre. 

The monastery was in a valley, enclosed on the west 
side by a mountain, and on the east by a hill that was 
not so high. 

The eastern peak was crowned by a forest of im- 
mense pines. The valley was one vast prairie, and 
the J)eech grows much like the arrangements of an 
English garden. 

We came about evenfall, and were received by the 
cellarer who had a nose very rich — like an obelisk. 

" Gentlemen," said he, " our abbfe will be glad when 
he hears you have come. He is yet in bed ; but come 
with me, and you will see whether we have expected 
you or not." 

We followed him, and besought him to take us to 
the refectory. 

Amid the display of the table arose a pate like a 


cathedral ; on one side was a quarter of cold veal, 
artichokes, etc., were also on the eastern range. 

There were various kinds of fruits, napkins, knives 
and plate ; at the foot of the table were many attentive 

At one corner of the refrectory was seen more than 
an hundred bottles, kept cool by a natural fountain. 
We could snuff the aroma of mocha, though in those 
venerable days none ever drank mocha so early in 
the morning. 

The reverend cellarer for a time laughed at our 
emotion, and then spoke to us as follows : 

" Gentlemen," said he, I " would be pleased to keep 
you company, but as yet I have not kept my mass. I 
ought to ask you to drink, but the mountain air dis- 
penses the necessity. Receive, then, what we offer you. 
I must to matins." 

He went to matins. 

We did our best to eat up the abbe's dinner, but 
could not. People from Sirius might, but it was too 
much for us. 

After dinner we dispersed. I crept into a good bed 
until mass ; like the heroes of Rocroy, who slept until 
the battle began. 

I was aroused by a great fat friar, who had nearly 
pulled my arm out of its socket, and went to the 
church where I found all at their posts. 

We played a symphony at the offertory and sung a 



motet at the elevation, concluding with four wind 

We contrived, in spite of the jests usually expended 
on amateurs, to get out of the difficulty very well. 

We received with great benignity the praises heaped 
on us, and having received the abbot's thanks went to 
the table. 

The dinner was such as people used to eat in the 
fifteenth century. There were few superfluities, but 
the choice of dishes was admirable. We had plain, 
honest, substantial stews, good meats, and dishes of 
vegetables, which made one regret they were not more 

The dessert was the more remarkable, as it was 
composed of fruits not produced at that altitude. The 
gardens of Machuras, of -Morflent and other places 
had contributed. 

There was no want of liqueurs, but coffee needs a 
particular reference. 

It was clear, perfumed and strong, but was not 
served in what are called tasses on the Seine, but in 
huge bowls, into which the monks dipped their lips 
and smacked them with delight. 

After dinner we went to vespers, and between the 
psalms executed antiphones I prepared for the pur- 
pose. That style of music was then fashionable. I 
cannot say if mine was good or bad. 

Our day being over, my orchestra was enabled to 
look and walk around. On my return the abbe said, 


" I am about to leave you, and will suffer you to finish 
the night. I do not think my presence at all impor- 
tunate to the fathers ; but I wish them to do as they 

When the abbot had left, the monks drew more 
closely together, and a thousand jokes were told, not 
the less funny because the world knows nothing of 

About nine a glorious supper was served, long in 
advance of the dinner. 

They laughed, sang, told stories, and one of the 
fathers recited some very good verses he had himself 

At last a monk arose, and said, a Father Cellarer, 
what have you to say ?" 

" True," said the father, " I am not cellarer for 

He left, and soon returned with three servitors, the 
first of whom brought some glorious fresh buttered 
toast. The others had a table on which was a sweet- 
ened preparation of brandy and water — vulgo, punch. 
~ The new comers were received with acclamation ; 
the company ate the toasts, drank the toddy, and 
when the abbey clock struck twelve, all went to their 
cells to enjoy a repose they had richly earned. 


One day I rode a horse I called la Joie through the 


It was at the worst era of the revolution, and 
I went to see Mr. Prot to obtain a passport which, 
probably, might save me from prison or the scaf- 

At about 11 P. M., I reached a little bourg or vil- 
lage called Mont St. Vaudrqy, and having first at- 
tended to my horse, was struck by a spectacle no 
traveller ever saw without delight. 

Before a fire was a spit covered with cock quails 
and the rails that are always so fat. All the juice 
from the quails fell on an immense rotie so built up 
that the huntsman's hand was apparent. Then came 
one of those leverets, the perfume of which Parisians 
have no faith in though they fill the room. 

"Ah ha!" said I; "Providence has not entirely 
deserted me. Let us scent this perfume and die 

Speaking to the landlord who, while I was making 
my examinations, walked up and down the room, I 
said, " Mon cher, what can you give us for dinner ?" 

"Nothing very good, Monsieur. You can have 
potatoes. The beans are awful. I never had a worse 

The landlord seemed to suspect the cause of my 
disappointment. I said, however, " for whom is all 
this game kept ?" 

"Alas, Monsieur," said he, "it is not mine but 
belongs to some lawyers and judges who have been 
here several days on a business which concerns a very 


rich old lady. They finished yesterday, and wish to 
celebrate the event by a revolt.' ' 

" Monsieur," said I, " be pleased to say that a gentle- 
man asks the favor of being permitted to dine with 
them, that he will pay his portion of the expense, and 
also be much obliged to them." 

He left me and did not return, but after a few min- 
utes a little fat man entered, who hovered around the 
kitchen, lifted up the covers and disappeared. 

" Ah, ha !" said I. The tiler has come to look at me. 
I began to hope, for I knew my appearance was not 
repulsive. My heart beat quickly as a candidate's 
does after the ballot-box is opened, and before he 
knows the result, when the landlord told me the gentle- 
men only waited for me to sit down. 

I went at once, and was received in the most flatter- 
ing manner. 

The dinner was glorious, I will not describe it, but 
only refer to an admirable fricassee of chicken not 
often seen in such perfection in the country. It had 
so many truffles that it would have revived an old 

We sang, danced, etc., and passed the evening pleas- 

[The translator here omits half a dozen songs, 
which are essentially French, and which no one can 
do justice to in another tongue.] " 


DE P. 

I believe I am the first person who ever conceived 
the idea of a gastronomical academy. I am afraid, 
however, I was a little in advance of the day, as peo- 
ple may judge by what took place fifteen years after- 

The President, H. de P., the ideas of whom braved 
every age and era, speaking to three of the most en- 
lightened men of his age, (Laplace, Chaptal, and 
Berthollet,) said, "I look in the history of the dis- 
covery of a new dish, which prolongs our pleasures, as 
far more important than the discovery of a new star." 

I shall never think science sufficiently honored 
until I see a cook in the first class of the institute. 

The good old President was always delighted when 
he thought of his labor. He always wished to fur- 
nish me an epigraph, not like that which made Mon- 
tesquieu a member of the academy. I therefore, 
wrote several verses about it, but to be copied. 

Dans ses doctes travaux il fat infatigable ; 

II eut de grands emplois, qu'il remplit dignement: 

Et quoiqu'il fut profond, erudit et savant, 

II ne se crut jamais dispense d'etre aimable. 



My work is now done, yet I am not a bit out of 

I could give my readers countless stories, but all is 
now oyer, and as my book is for all time, those who 
will read it now will know nothing of those for whom 
I write. 

Let the Professor here end his work, * 








A neat ISmo. volume. 


The Philosopher Sir Thomas Browne. 

The Dilettante Shenstone. 

The Moralist William EHery Channing. 

The Wit Dean Swift. 

The Philanthropist William Roscoe. 

The Humorist Charles Lamb. 

The Historian T. Babington Macaulay. 

The Idealist John Sterling. 

The Rhetorician Edmund Burke. 

The Scholar Mark Akenside. 

The Biographer • Final Memorials of Lamb and Keats. 

This forms, for the traveller, the sojourner at a watering-place, or in the 
country, an agreeable volume for summer reading. ^ It is of a higher order ol 
merit than the light literature of the day, while it is less diffuse than works 
of a more standard character ; it will be found both instructive and enter- 
taining. _^_^^^ 


He has happily chosen Sir Thomas Browne as the representative of the 
Philosopher ; Channing, of the Moralist ; Roscoe, of the Philanthropist ; 
Lamb, of the Humorist ; Macaulay, of the Historian, &c. A glance at its 
pages, and a knowledge of the author, assures us that it will be admitted as 
one of the happiest works that has proceeded from his pen — discriminating 
with distinctions, with the accessary illustrations of a man of taste and tra- 
vels.— Literary World. 

The idea is a happy one, that of delineating the various forms of literary 
iharacter, by selecting some single specimen from each class, and analysing 
Us peculiarities. The execution is distinguished by the good sense and good 
taste which mark most of Mr. Tuckerman's criticisms.— Evening Post. 

Mr. Tuckerman never attempts anything that he does not thoroughly per- 
form. Equally successful, both in prose and verse, hrthis volume he has 
thrown the graceful charm of his polished dietion around the characters he 
has selected for analysis. No one can take up the book without being de- 
lighted at every step of their progress. — Boston Atlas. 

Those who like to think as they read, will find much pleasure in this de- 
lightful volume.— Baltimore American. 

For a companion under a tree, in the present season, we could commend 
few books as confidently as " The Characteristics of Literature/ ' by Tucker* 
man — a gentle-thoughted, discriminating, tasteful series of analytical portraits 
of distinguished men. — Home Journal. 

Those who like to think as they read, will find much pleasure in this ana- 
lytical volume. — American. 

He has given us a very entertaining volume, that cannot fail to s* J 










The Noontide Dream, 



The Thunder-Storm. 

The Village Tomb-Cutter, 

The Parting Wreath, 


The Bashful Lover, 

Love and Innocence. 


We may safely recommend this book as a collection of some of the most beautiful conceptions 
elegantly expressed, to be found in the range of English and American poetry.— Saturday Courier 

We regard this as the best book of a similar character yet published.— Germcmtown Telegraph 

In this Dictionary of Quotations every subject is touched upon; and, while the selection has bees 
lawfully m»de, it has the merit of containing the best thoughts of the Poets of our own day, which 
so other collection has.— U. 8. Gazette. 

The selections in this book are made with taste from all posts of note, and are classed under » 
vreat variety of subjects.— Presbyterian. 

The Quotations appear to have been selected with great judgment and taste, by one well acquainted 
with whatever is most elegant and beautiful in the whole range of Literature.— Christian Observer. 

k volume exhibiting industry and taste on the part of the compiler, which will often facilitate re 
tearches in the mines of gold whence it was dug.— MaysviUe Eagle. 

In his arrangement, the compiler has assigned the immortal Shakspeare his deserved 
and illumined his pages with the choicest beauties of the British Poets.— Herald. 

We do not hesitate to command it to our poetry-loving readers, as a book worth buying, and werta 
leading.- Canton Republican. 

The extracts display great care and taste on the part of the editor, are arranged in chronoJegisei 
M-der, ami embrace passages from all the poets, from the earliest periot* of our literature to the pre* 
mi. time.— Stele Gazette. 

This book will be read with interest, as containing the best thoughts of the best poets, and is con- 
/enierlfor reference, because famishing appropriate quotations to illustrate a vast variety of subjects. 
— Old Colony Memorial 

We view it as a casket filled with the most precious gems of learning and fancy, and so arranged 
a* to /urinate, at a elan* e. the delicate eye of taste. By referring to the index, which is arranged in 
elphabetjcnl outer, you can find, in a moment, the best ideas of the most inspired poets of this countw 
as well as Eur le, ur on any desired subject— Chronicle. 





BY * 




The Literary contents of this work contain copious selections fron 

the writings of 

Inne Bradstreet, Jane Turell, Anne Eliza Bleecfcer, Margaretta 

V« Faugeres, Phtllis Wheatley, Mercy Warren, Sarah Porter, 

Sarah Wentworth Morton, Mrs* Little, Maria A* Brooks, 

Lydia Huntley Sigouruey, Anna Maria Well*, Caroline Oil- 

man, Sarah Josepha Hale, Maria Jt&mes, Jessie G. M'Cartee, 

Mrs* Gray, Eliza Pollen, Louisa Jane Hall, Mrs* Swift, 

Mrs* E* C* Kinney, Marguerite St* Leon Loud, Luella J* 

Case, Elizabeth Bogart, A* D* Woodbrldge, Elisabeth 

Margaret Chandler, Emma C* Embury, Sarah Helena 

Whitman, Cynthia Taggart, Elisabeth J* Eames, 

Ac* 4&e« Ac* 

The whole forming a beautiful specimen of the highly cultivated state el 

the arts in the United States, as regards the paper, topography, 

and binding in rich and various styles. , 

One of the most striking characteristics of the present age 
4 the number of female writers, especially in the department 
4 belles-lettres. This is even more true of the United 
States, than of the old world ; and poetry, which is the lan- 
guage of the affections, has been freely employed among u* 
to express the emotions of woman's heart. 

As the rare exotic, costly because of the distance from 
which it is brought, will often suffer in comparison of beauty 
and fragrance with the abundant wild flowers of our mea- 
dows and woodland slopes, so the reader of our present 
volume, if ruled by an honest taste, will discover in the effu- 
sions of our gifted countrywomen as much grace of form, 
and powerful sweetness of thought and feeling, as in the 
blossoms of woman's genius culled from other lands. 










The Literary contents of this work contain copious selections from 

the writings of 

lane Boleyn, Countess of Arundel* Queen Elizabeth, Duchess of 

Newcastle, Elizabeth Carter, Mrs* Tiffhe* Miss Hannah Mere* 

Mrs* Hemans. Lady Flora Hastings, Mrs* Amelia Opie, Miss 

Eliza Cook, Mrs* Southey, Miss Lowe* Mrs. Norton, Blizabeth 

B* Barrett, Catharine Parr, Mary Queen of Scots, Countess 

of Pembroke, Lady Mary Wortley Montague, Mrs* Gre- 

▼tile, Mrs* Barbauld, Joanna Balllle, Letitla Elizabeth 

Landon, Charlotte Elizabeth, Mary Russell Mitford, 

Mrs* Coleridge, Mary Howitt, Frances Kemble Butler, 

Ac* Ac* dfec* 

The whole forming a beautiful specimen of the highly cultivated state of 
. the arts in the United States, as regards the paper, typography, 
, and binding in rich and various styles. 

In the department of English poetry, we have long looked for a spirit cast in nature's finest, yet 
nost elevated mould, possessed of the most delicate and exquisite taste, the keenest perception 
ef the innate true and beautiful in poetry, as opposed to their opposites, who could five to us ■ 
pure collection of the Bntish Female Poets ; many of them among the choicest spirits that eve? 
graced and adorned humanity. The object of our search, in this distinct and important mission 
is before us ; and we acknowledge at once in Dr. Bethune. the gifted poet, the eloquent divine 
and the humble Christian, one who combines, in an eminent degree, all the characteristics above 
alluded to. It raises the mind loftier, and makes it purified with the soul, to float in an atmosphere 
of spiritual purity, to peruse the elegant volume before us, chaste, rich, and beautiful, without anal 
within.— The Spectator 

We do not remember to have seen any previous attempt to form a poetical bouquet exclusively 
from gardens planted by female hands, and made fragrant and beautiful by woman's gentle culture. 
We know few men equally qualified with the gifted Editor of this volume for the tasteful end 
lOdicioas selection and adjustment of the various flowers that are to delight with their sweetness, 
soothe with their softness, and impart profit with their sentiment The volume is enriched wits 
Bicgrapnical Sketcues of some sixty poetesses, each sketch being followed with specimens charac- 
teristic of her style and powers of verse. In beauty of typography, and general getting up, thS) 
volume is quite equal to the best issues of its tasteful ana enterprising publishers.— Episcopal Recorder. 

- It is handsomely embellished, and may be described as a casket of gems. Dr. Bethune, who kj 
sumself a poet of no mean genius, has in this volume exhibited the most refined taste. The wort 
nay be regarded as a treasury of nearly all the best pieces of British Female Poets.— Inquirer. 

This volume, which is far more suited for a holyday gift than many which are prepared expressly 
far the purpose, contains extracts from all the most distinguished English Female Poets, selected 
vita the taste and judgment which we have a right to expect from the eminent divine and highly 

"~ * it whose name adorns the title page. It is a rare collection of the richest gems.— Bait*' 

Dr. Bethune has selected his materials with exquisite taste, culling the fairest and sweetest 
Sowers from the extensive field cultivated by the British Female Poets. The brief Biographical 
Notices add much interest to the volume, and vastly increase its value. It is pleasant to find Hass* 
working and close-thinking divines thus recreating theirselves, and contributing by their r* 
lions to the refinement of the age. Dr. Bethune has brought to his task poetic enttrasnmi, • 
•ady perception 0/ the pore and beautiful —N. Y. Commercial 




Hade in forty